News Story

OtherCare not Obamacare

Health care event that looks to market for solutions to be held Saturday in Ann Arbor

As the nation struggles with the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and the Michigan Legislature continues to discuss expanding Medicaid as part of the law, a group of doctors is hosting an event discussing solutions to the health care system.

The event, "OtherCare: Liberation and Innovation in American Healthcare," takes place this Saturday in Ann Arbor. It is sponsored by private Michigan physicians, Docs4PatientCare, the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons and the Michigan Alliance for Sustainable Healthcare.

"Even besides Obamacare, our model for health care is broken with third-party interference," said Dr. Matt McCord, an anesthesiologist and founder of the Michigan Alliance for Sustainable Healthcare. "America needs to think differently about health care and embrace a new consumer-driven health care model and paradigm, one that is decentralized, empowered and collaborative."

The event is part of a movement looking to bring better care to patients through things like price transparency and direct contract care.

One of the featured speakers at the event is Dr. Kevin Smith, founder of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma. Dr. Smith has made national news for not accepting government insurance and posting the prices of surgical procedures.

Dr. Smith said he charges one-fifth or less than other centers. That has caused a "bidding war" for surgical services in Oklahoma City, which helps drive down costs for consumers. Dr. Smith told KFOR in Oklahoma City that federal Medicare regulations do not allow for an online price menu, so he does not accept Medicare.

Seema Verma, the architect of the Healthy Indiana Plan, will discuss consumer-driven plans that help bring down costs through competition.

David McDaniel will discuss how the concept of self-insuring, where employers avoid many of the regulations in Obamacare by insuring their own employees rather than using an outside company.

Avik Roy, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and Forbes health care blogger, will discuss why Michigan should delay the expansion of Medicaid and work toward a patient-centered model.

Registration for the event closes today at 5 p.m. To see the schedule and register, click here.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.