Republicans having reneged on their campaign promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while ACA has failed to deliver on its promise of affordable care to all, what comes next? The most vocal Democrats clamor for Medicare for All, and Republicans appear to be in disarray. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) presents a White Paper concerning reform in the spring issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.
ACA, like other redistribution schemes, created winners and losers, notes AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient, M.D. Might it be possible to create “a new type of winner: one who gains freedom, while not taking from others?” she asks. “Consider a variant of the Obama promise: If you like your ObamaCare, you can keep your ObamaCare. If you like your Medicare, you can keep your Medicare. But if you don’t like it, you have a choice.”
The White Paper explains that under Medicare or ACA, Americans have similar options: Take your Medicare or your ACA-compliant plan—or be uninsured. To decline Medicare Part A, Americans also need to forgo Social Security and return all benefits already received. Moreover, physicians who accept payment from Medicare are not permitted to provide Medicare-covered services to Medicare beneficiaries except under Medicare’s constraints for “medical necessity,” allowed charges, and other rules. This means that such patients cannot receive “covered services” that are unavailable under these constraints.
AAPS points out that Medicare for All proposals would outlaw private insurance. Patients would have no choice. They would have to pay in advance through taxes, then wait their turn for whatever services might be available.
Instead, AAPS proposes repealing Medicare’s and ACA’s restrictions on free-market insurance and other financing arrangements for all who wish to work or receive care outside the system. If Medicare or ACA are so desirable, why the need for a virtual Berlin wall to keep beneficiaries in?
“American medicine is at a crossroads,” the White Paper concludes. “It can continue on the path that leads from Medicare to ACA to a fully closed, coercive system, or it can allow freedom-loving Americans to build a private sphere with government confined to its constitutional role. Our current path will only lead to a worsening of the enormous cost, deteriorating quality, and demoralization we are now experiencing, as inevitable insolvency looms.”
The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.
Full PDF of White Paper: