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..::: JANUARY 10, 2005

New Year's Health Care Resolutions

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA—The new year brings open enrollment health care hassles for today’s employer and employee alike, claims Americans for Free Choice in Medicine (AFCM), though help is on the way.

"During the annual cattle call, employees are pummeled with bureaucratic health care jargon about co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums,” writes Scott Holleran, editor of AFCM’s newsletter, Pulse. “Open enrollment in a health plan gets more confusing—and, for everyone, more expensive—each year.”

Holleran explains that HMOs and PPOs were essentially instituted by the government through Sen. Ted Kennedy’s and President Richard Nixon’s HMO Act in 1973. “Since the HMO Act was passed, the individual has become a prisoner—covered by an employer, herded into managed care and locked into rising co-pays and lower quality treatments,” he says. “It’s money for practically nothing.”

AFCM insists there is an alternative and it may be coming soon to the rescue: insurance compatible with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).

“Imagine medicine without networks, percentages, and thresholds,” Holleran suggests, “without co-pays, generics and pre-authorization from a nurse practitioner at a phone bank in Idaho—that’s the best of the Health Savings Account plans: free choice of treatment, 100 percent of costs above the deductible, real, name-brand drugs and less restrictions on medicine, that plus tax-deductible contributions which earn as much as four percent interest.”

Holleran’s articles about health policy have been published in the Los Angeles Times, Detroit News and the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Americans for Free Choice in Medicine, (AFCM), was founded in 1993. AFCM educates the public about the principles of socialized medicine and free market ideas, such as HSAs and tax reform, and publishes a consumer's guide on its Web site (http://www.afcm.org). AFCM is the nation's only educational organization based on individual rights, personal responsibility and free market ideas in medicine.

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Copyright © 2005 Americans for Free Choice in Medicine. All rights reserved.
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