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September 5, 2017

At MD Anderson You Can Have Cancer Care or Obamacare, But Not Both

 

As if Houston-area residents didn’t have enough problems! 

The world famous Houston-based M.D. Anderson Cancer Center accepts several insurance plans. But one type of insurance it will not accept: Obamacare. 

The center states on its website

For 2017, MD Anderson and our physicians are not included as a “Participating Provider” for any “Individual” insurance plans on or off the marketplace in Texas (i.e., ACA plans). Certain individual plans available outside of Texas may allow in network access to MD Anderson, but you must verify that information with the insurance plan. Plans that offer out-of-network benefits may be accepted at MD Anderson if they meet our requirements. If not, enrollees would be responsible for all charges (i.e., self-pay).

No one should be shocked that Obamacare is increasing costs and reducing access to care—many of us predicted exactly that. And the reason is simple: as costs explode under Obamacare, so do premiums—and the desperate effort to hold down those premium increases. 

Insurers try to mitigate premium increases by adjusting out-of-pocket expenses, such as higher deductibles and copays—hence, $7,000 deductibles. 

But insurers are also putting the squeeze on health care providers, such as offering lower reimbursements for care or by imposing certain restrictions. Doctors and hospitals that reject either, or both, will no longer be in that insurer’s network. 

Obamacare may have increased the number of people with insurance, but a lot of good that does if people can’t find a doctor or hospital that will treat them unless they pay for it out of their own pocket. 

People might be tempted to blame M.D. Anderson for not taking Obamacare, but that blame would be misplaced. The Democrats, and especially President Obama, are the ones who deserve voter scorn. 

They crafted Obamacare, arrogantly and falsely asserting that Republicans were misleading the public. As Obama told Democrats on March 20, 2010: “But it may also be possible that they [Republicans] realize that after health reform passes … it’s going to be a little harder to mischaracterize what this legislation has been all about.” 

Actually, the collapse of Obamacare’s individual market has made it much easier to characterize it—as the big-government health care takeover Democrats always intended. 

(A special thanks to Dr. Linda Gorman of the Independence Institute for bringing the M.D. Anderson policy to our attention.)


 

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