Live from Virginia Thursday morning on The John Fredericks Show – weekdays on WNTW AM 820/ FM 92.7 – Richmond, WJFN FM 100.5 – Central Virginia, WMPH AM 1010 / FM 100.1 / FM 96.9 (7-9 PM) Hampton Roads, WBRG AM 1050 / FM 105.1 – Lynchburg/Roanoke and Weekdays 6-10 am and 24/7 Stream – host Fredericks welcomed YourChoice Direct Care’s Dr. Chad Savage to the show to further examine the Affordable Care Act and the need for a competitive healthcare marketplace.
Fredericks: Joining us now, Dr. Chad Savage. He had a big op-ed the other day on CSNBC and he says Vice President Biden doesn’t take away our healthcare choice. Of course, what Biden wants to do is eliminate choice in your health care. And he is with us now. Dr. Chad Savage. Hey, doc great to have you with us man.
Dr. Savage: Good morning John. Thanks for having me on.
Fredericks: I wanted to have you on today because I read your op-ed the other day. You honestly believe that if Biden-Harris wins that regardless of what they’re saying now they’re going to take away all choice in health care and force everybody into a Medicare for all type of program. But they’re saying they’re not going to do that. Biden is saying he just wants to make ACA better, the Affordable Care Act. Then he says that Trump wants to get rid of it and that Amy Coney Barrett wants to get rid of it. So then you’re not going to then you’re going to go back to getting denied for pre-existing conditions. Can you elaborate on this debate doctor?
Dr. Savage: Sure. Absolutely. I mean so it’s not my speculation that the way to know this is to combine your own words with your own recollection. You know it starts way back with Harry Reid back after Obamacare was passed when he described it as just simply a stepping stone to a single party payer system. And one of the worst aspects of that law, the ACA where that was the individual mandate.
And the reason why is it was the government forcing people through a fine which was later defined as a tax to try to make it constitutional that if you can’t buy their insurance company policies that are dictated exactly what they are by the government then you suffer a penalty. And so this was a terrible law. It was a part of the law it actually restricted the number of options people had.
The Trump administration came in and they did not fully repeal it because they can’t because it’s a law. But they did make the penalty zero effectively neutering it. But Vice President Biden has said that he will bring it back. And he is on record saying this multiple times that he will bring it back if he is elected. And why that’s so important is when they got rid of the individual mandate or neutered it they allowed for other coverage options to emerge that didn’t qualify under the ACA.
And these are things like short-term limited duration plans which are 80 percent cheaper than traditional market products and things like indemnity plans. Expansion of the health sharing ministries which my own family is covered on and you know it goes on and on. And you know this is very much countered by the president’s plan which is trying to combine transparency with agency. And what I mean by that is he believes that the way to correct what’s wrong in healthcare is to allow people to actually know what the prices are before you purchase the products.
I mean you never go into a store and buy a Sony television with no idea what it costs. And the argument against transparency is the best way to get a deal on that Sony TV is to have no idea what you’re going to pay for it. So you know that’s a preposterous notion. So by making transparency you know allowing people to know the prices and then agency is the power to act upon them. That through market competition as in every other industry we see in America that will improve quality and lower prices.
Fredericks: I want to read an excerpt of your op-ed which people don’t realize. May I?
Fredericks: You said that ACA’s intent to ensure health care when talking about it you said it basically made compliance too expensive for many smaller insurance companies that offered that were in the health care business squeezing them you said out of the market altogether. Which is basically, it’s not capitalism because it was government mandate that squeezed them out. Then you said and you know what? This is not said enough.
Like people don’t understand what happened here. Then you said their departure of small insurance companies who couldn’t compete you said created lucrative regional big insurance cartels for the big behemoth insurers left standing. And by the way in the ACA there was a bailout for them should things go south.
Remember that. Because that’s why they signed on to it. They said okay, we’ll sign on to this because we’ll get bigger and we’ll eliminate our competition and if things go south we’ll get a bailout. Well of course they’re gonna sign on to it. Hey, get rid of your competition. Make more money. And if things don’t go as planned, we’ll give you taxpayer money. Unbelievable!
Anyway, you said, without the stabilizing effect of competition these insurers then the big ones and cartels double their premiums between 13 and 17 thus Americans were forced not only to buy health insurance but choose from an ever-shrinking number of ever more expensive plans all the while becoming increasingly underinsured and forced to buy the minimum coverage which didn’t cover anything with $10,000. and $15,000. deductibles. This one paragraph has summed up what Obamacare did that Trump and Pence and the Republicans have been unable to articulate. And I want to commend you for that.
Savage: Thank you.
Fredericks: Because I’ve lifted it out. I mean this is the one paragraph that sums the whole thing up. ACA benefited big insurance companies. Squeezed out the competition. Raised premiums. Gave people insurance that they had to buy. Doubled the premiums. They got underinsured. They did pre-existing conditions. So it basically just transferred over insurance coverage to other people and it was a total disaster. And then as soon as Trump said no more mandates the whole thing started to collapse. Right?
Savage: Yeah and so much of it is a misnomer, unfortunately. They talk about the marketplace you know for the ACA exchange. But there’s really in many places no such thing as a market as people many times only have one or maybe if their lucky two options to so-call choose from. So there’s really not any competitive pressure there to control prices. And by analogy, you know Walmart has good prices.
Well if they were the only show in town with no competition do you really think that that would persist? You know the answer is, of course, no. Competition is a way of keeping people honest. And I’ll tell you as a doctor who has a free market practice and this is supported by the America First Plan by the president and the healthcare for you. You which is through the job creators network which is who I’m a member of, we have what’s called the direct primary care practice.
We work directly for our patients. And if I don’t do a good job for them they can easily go down the street to one of my competitors. So although most doctors are altruistic and they want to do a good job for their patients that little extra kick in the pants you know going you know Miss Smith can fire me if I don’t do a good job for her is a good way of assuring the timeliness of replies. Making sure that they have great access. That you give them adequate time and attention. Because otherwise they can take those dollars and go elsewhere.
Fredericks: Well and that’s what competition is. So even in your business that’s what drives your own office and your own practice. I’ve got a phone call that wants to weigh in. Let’s go to Timothy from Hampton. Timothy, you’re on the line live with Dr. Chad Savage.
Caller Timothy: My brother used to be on Obamacare for two years. His premium was $1,340 a month. That was $16,000 a year. He had a $5,000 per family member deductible. So his out-of-pocket maximum had to be reached first. And then it only covered 50 percent. So it backs up what you guys were already talking about. And he had to move to another company. And when he moved to another company he basically got a $1,000 a month pay raise because his new premium was $340 a month.
Listen to the full show here:
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Thursday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host Fredricks welcomed Dr. Chad Savage to the show to explain the Affordable Care Act and how the Trump administration is creating competition and transparency in the healthcare marketplace.