LANSING, Mich.—On Saturday, November 15, state Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, spoke at the national ProFamily Legislators Conference in Dallas on potential health care changes in Michigan that would lower prices, provide better care and reduce bureaucracy.
Before legislators from more than 30 states, Colbeck outlined his plan to exploit then repeal the Patient-Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) otherwise known as “Obamacare.”
Colbeck’s plan features the exploitation of a loophole inserted late in the deliberations around passage of the act. This loophole allows for the utilization of Direct Primary Care Services (DPCS) in conjunction with a high-deductible health care plan as a means of meeting the law’s requirements pertinent to Qualified Health Plans. The senator refers to his solution as the Patient-Centered Care Solution (PCCS).
The “Exploit then repeal” strategy ensures that patients and doctors would be protected from any uncertainty before the full repeal of the law is realized. The only groups significantly impacted by the repeal would be the 159 new organizations inserted between a doctor and patient as a result of the PPACA.
“The centerpiece of this strategy is the exploitation of Direct Primary Care Services utilization. It is not insurance and therefore is free of the administrative burden associated with insurance regulations and does not answer to the organizations created between a doctor and patient,” Colbeck said. “Under the Patient-Centered Care Solution, the focus of healthcare returns to the doctor-patient relationship. DPCS work within, but are not dependent on, the PPACA so Michigan residents would be able to see their doctors without big government sitting in the room with them.”
In order to implement this structure, Colbeck introduced Senate Bill 1033 to define DPCS as a contract between a health care provider and an individual patient and not health insurance.
In addition to SB 1033, two other bills—SB 993, sponsored by Sen. Jim Marleau, R-Lake Orion, and Senate Concurrent Resolution 23 (SCR 23) introduced by Colbeck—would allow Michigan the freedom to redesign its health care delivery system. SB 993 would allow Michigan to opt out of the federal health insurance program, and in its place, receive a lump sum of money to spend on state-designed health care plans instead of the one-size-fits-all federal regulations. SCR 23 asks the U.S. Congress to provide additional support for DPCS by allowing them to be part of health care plans.
“Establishing a robust network of Direct Primary Care Service providers in Michigan would allow employers and individuals who adopt health plans featuring these services to not only receive better health care, but to do so for 20-30 percent lower costs than traditional insurance coverage,” Colbeck said. “The state of Washington has already implemented a similar plan and is realizing savings of over 50 percent for their Medicaid population along with a commensurate reduction of more than 50 percent in hospitalization rates.
“Once fully implemented, the diminished administrative burden for physician practices would result in an effective doubling of the number of primary care physicians without needing to graduate one additional physician. Doctors would spend less time on the paperwork required to comply with government and insurance micromanagement of the doctor-patient relationship. Physicians would finally be able to spend more time with individual patients and effectively put an end to ‘fast food’ health care. The economy would also benefit by reducing health care expenses for employers, which would create more jobs and make fewer people dependent upon government services.”
Direct Primary Care Services would provide Michigan’s residents with a health care option that costs less and yet provides more comprehensive care. Among some of the benefits of DPCS:
• DPCS are health care services, not insurance plans;
• Eliminates Insurance regulation overhead, decreasing the costs of health care services to consumers;
• Offers lower cost access to primary care services;
• Expands access to quality health care;
• Lowers cost of health care for employers;
• Lowers the cost of government;
• DPCS business model is preferred by physicians;
• Would effectively double the number of primary care physicians in the state of Michigan if all were to be DPCS providers since 50 percent of physician time is spent on overhead in traditional practices; and
• Improves rural health care access by lowering the patient base needed to run a profitable practice (Only 600 patients versus more than 2500 patients).
The convention ran from Nov. 13-16 and included 21 speakers. The purpose of the convention was to bring together the ideas of people who are supportive of family values and to share what is being done across the country that is working and what mistakes can be avoided.
“By adopting these bills Michigan’s battle to restore low cost, high quality healthcare for all of our citizens will be a realized outcome that can be replicated in other states,” Colbeck concluded.