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Groups leading the charge for free market healthcare

Posted by BrettRocketSci 10 months, 3 weeks ago to Business
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In my quest to find objectivist-leaning companies and business owners with whom to trade with, my highest priority now is healthcare providers. For anyone paying attention (which ought to be everyone here), you know the medical industry in the US is headed dangerously towards a complete government takeover with socialized medicine as a fundamental "right."

There are a lot of doctors and healthcare providers who are unhappy (or worse) about this. It's very hard for me to understand how and why they have let things go this far down the road to serfdom... but here we are my friends.

In my search for regional or local capitalist medical providers, I have found some national groups that are promoting this approach. Here's the list.

When you see who is here, please ask yourself these questions:
Do you recognize any of them as having efforts in your area?
Do you have any experience or knowledge with a group that you can share?

Some of these groups organize on a chapter level. I'm investigating options and tradeoffs to determine which group(s) would be best to engage and propose for action in my Sacramento CA region. (Being the capital for the People's State of California, it's a target-rich landscape and a trend-setter for the rest of the country.)

If you happen to know anyone near me who might want to learn about future happenings and efforts, I'd greatly appreciate a referral or introduction. A coalition or network is forming. I have some doctors and med students eager to save their careers and independent judgment (and future wealth). Thanks, Brett

Free Market Medical Association (FMMA)
https://fmma.org/providers/

Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
This group has a broad and inclusive name like the AMA (Amer Medical Association) but their materials and efforts are refreshingly pro-liberty.
https://aapsonline.org/

Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation
https://d4pcfoundation.org/

They have a member who has created this:
Manual for starting up a DPC practice:
https://dpcmanual.com/

Benjamin Rush Institute
https://www.benjaminrushinstitute.org/

Finally, here is a doctor office in Wichita KS who I've been told about as an objectivist-principled practice. He put Atlas in his name so he must be serious about it. ;-)
Atlas MD - Josh Umbehr, MD
https://atlas.md/wichita/about-us/our...

If anyone has more suggestions I'll be grateful to learn about them. But please keep it focused on groups who are focused on IMPLEMENTING free market healthcare NOW at the STATE or LOCAL level, Not publishing white papers and lobbying in DC. Or tackling a lot of other issues besides heatlhcare. I am laser focused and need a group aligned with my goals (and values).


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  • Posted by 10 months, 3 weeks ago
    Forgot to emphasize - the link with FMMA that I provided is for a directory of doctors affiliated with them. Do a search to see if you have someone near you! They should be worth considering for your business if you can make that choice.
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  • Posted by ewv 10 months, 3 weeks ago
    The tendency of doctors to be willing to go along with more government control seems to be due to a combination of not knowing much about the history or ethics of it and being fed up with the current bureaucratic maze blamed on private insurance companies, leading them in desperation to try anything that promises to be simpler. Out of the pan and into the fire they go. Others are simply cutting back or retiring early out of accumulated frustration even though they don't understand it either.
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    • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 10 months, 3 weeks ago
      Of course the doctors are going to go along with government control -- their entire profession is protected by laws against practicing medicine without a license, and limiting who can prescribe drugs.

      My insurance company and I spend hundreds of dollars a year for my doctor to treat my type II diabetes. He regularly checks my glucose, A1c, and weighs me -- then tells me to lose a little weight. All of these factors have been constant for a decade -- I measure them myself (except the A1c which I could). But I need this to maintain my $4 prescription for Metformin.

      We could do a lot with software, but everything has to carefully avoid the hint of "practicing medicine".
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      • Posted by term2 10 months, 3 weeks ago
        You can get A1C kits that are accurate and work at home directly from amazon.com and other places. No need to pay doctors to write lab slips and go through multiple co-pays. As I remember the last time I bought them it was like $30 for a 2-pack, and they were very easy to use.

        You can also order other lab tests from LEF.org. You pay them, and they write you a lab slip that you use at a local blood drawing place of your choice. The results get mailed to you for your records.
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        • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 10 months, 3 weeks ago
          The only thing you can't do yourself is purchase prescription medication.
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          • Posted by term2 10 months, 3 weeks ago
            I buy from www.alldaychemist.com. On the internet. Comes from large drug companies in India. Pretty much anything you need except opioid stuff. Takes a couple of weeks to get the package by mail from India. Us drug companies are fighting this, probably because they are a threat
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            • Posted by 10 months, 2 weeks ago
              Thanks for sharing the personal liberty alternatives! This is the kind of info and resources that need to be spread more. Would you have any interest in doing that?
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              • Posted by term2 10 months, 2 weeks ago
                Yes. There’s a good book on the subject. ALONGSIDE NIGHT. About freedom loving people avoiding government intrusions but living quietly in plain sight. Example would be trading quietly. with like minded people without the drag of income taxation
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                • Posted by ewv 10 months, 1 week ago
                  The so-called black market is an illegal avoidance of taxes.
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                  • Posted by term2 10 months, 1 week ago
                    absolutely. and its the free market in action
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                    • Posted by ewv 10 months, 1 week ago
                      Statism outlaws freedom and punishes you for it. In a mixed system of freedom combined with controls you cannot think and act as if the controls don't exist and have no punitive effect on you, as if anarchy would be tolerated. To advocate open defiance of the law (good or bad) will get you into a lot more trouble than you started with under the original regulations. You pay the exorbitant taxes because you are forced to, not willingly, but that doesn't mean you have to like them and can't speak out.
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                      • Posted by term2 10 months, 1 week ago
                        There are very few times that speaking out really accomplishes anything, however. I voted for Trump to get taxes reduced and obamacare repealed, but we can see that the swamp is too deep for that. Obamacare will morph into medicaid for everyone, and even if taxes are reduced for certain favored groups, spending will only increase so we all pay in terms of inflation. ALONGSIDE NIGHT is appealing because if you are quiet about it, you can actually avoid some of the regulations and taxation just because the government isnt YET able to monitor each and every action that a citizen takes. That wont last forever of course, as the state gets more and more powerful, so living quietly in plain sight has alimia limitedlife.
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                        • Posted by ewv 10 months, 1 week ago
                          The effectiveness of speaking out depends on what you say, who you say it too, and the time frame of the result. If you don't think it makes any difference then you have adopted determinism, under which any thought or communication, including posting here, is futile. Those who do spread ideas, including the wrong ones, are having the effect.
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                          • Posted by term2 10 months, 1 week ago
                            I agree with that. I am careful to make sure that when I do speak out, I do in an effective way and dont just alert the statists that I am the enemy. The USA is not nearly as bad as Nazi Germany, but you can see how Snowden was treated when he "spoke out" against the illegal things the NSA was doing. I could sense the hatred that Obama had for him. I am sure he would have been railroaded into a dark hole forever if he came back to the USA. I voted for Trump because of his anti establishment stance, but I dont think even he had any idea of the depth of the swamp. I didnt think he was an intellectually consistent defender of freedom, however, but that he could perhaps slow the seemingly incessant march of our country to socialism.
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                • Posted by 10 months, 1 week ago
                  Thanks for that book reference. Hadn't heard of it. But I am thinking of something more specific about how to pursue and obtain your own free market healthcare without waiting for a system to be built for it (and without waiting for the current system to get replaced). "The riches are in the niches" for those who provide valuable information and resources on it. Such a resource would be a valuable tool to help the movement along too. Let me know how that sounds to you.
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                  • Posted by term2 10 months, 1 week ago
                    One clever workaround is concierge medicine where essentially you get a membership to a family doctor (MDVIP.com) which grants you very timely access to avoid the obamadelays. Then your insurance or Medicare reimburses the doctor with the otherwise insufficient payments. It could expand to specialists. Mayo Clinic is also offering it. A way to get better care currently
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      • Posted by ewv 10 months, 3 weeks ago
        Government standards on entering the medical profession are not why some doctors go along with unlimited control. That is not a root cause.
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        • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 10 months, 3 weeks ago
          I'm not talking just about entering the medical profession, I'm talking about defining the medical profession. Our healthcare system is still built around the doctor with the black bag.

          At some point in the future, your primary physician will be software based, available 24/7 and have such a low cost to use it will be essentially free. It will be able to recommend tests and drugs and refer you to a specialist if you need more sophisticated care.

          But we can't build that tool today because that would be practicing medicine without a license. It will probably start in some country not dominated by the FDA where they simply can't have enough doctors and have to accept alternatives.
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          • Posted by ewv 10 months, 2 weeks ago
            Requiring a license to practice medicine does not define medicine. Medical professional do that through the state of the art and science of medicine, though they are increasingly limited by bureaucracy in general application.

            Whatever AI might be able to do in the future, it can't do that now. There have been many projects trying to implement expert systems and more in software for medical diagnoses and other kinds of professional judgment. I would expect that the first practical systems would be used by doctors themselves who use it for improved efficiency and coverage of knowledge while still maintaining a true expert's oversight of the results.

            I hope your experiences with routine medical checks watching your diabetes mean that it is stable and under control the best possible. Periodic checks are necessary to detect changes that might otherwise be obscure or missed, with the knowledge to know what to further investigate. I think the insurance company requires professional checks on what might seem an obvious candidate for self-help because they would rather pay for the tests and professional insights than risk paying more later because a large number of patients would not be responsible or because rote tests are not necessarily sufficient.

            As for the injunction to lose weight, I hope you are. Obesity causes all kinds of problems in addition to diabetes, and that is something else for the doctor to watch for. Too much time in front of keypunch/terminal/workstation/PC without compensating activity is not good :-(

            One of the objections doctors have against the current system is that they aren't allotted the proper time to talk to a visiting patient for more personal attention beyond routine checks.
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            • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 10 months, 2 weeks ago
              Requiring a license does define who is in the profession and how one gets into it -- which defines what medical care is. Requiring that you have a licensed professional to get care restricts the avenues of care to those defined by that process which is necessarily slow to react to changing technology as is all government based regulations.

              And, yes, I do watch my diet glucose levels and exercise. My point is not that the advice is wrong, simply that one doesn't need years of medical school to know that. Much less expensive mechanisms could be developed to monitor the vast majority of the millions of patients with type II diabetes, many of whom are going completely without any care or medication because they can't afford to "go to a doctor".

              There have been good diagnostic tools available for some time. Part of the problem is the validation -- we consider a doctor as valid if he goes to an accredited school and passes an exam. We don't have a good way of validating the software.
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              • Posted by ewv 10 months, 2 weeks ago
                Medical licenses have been required for a very long time. It has not meant the government defines what medicine is. It defines what the license is required for and what people cannot do without it, not what doctors can do after they have a license. (That does not justify the licensing.)

                Your doctor does more than rote reading test numbers when you see him, he looks for other symptoms and exercises judgment in context. The first problem with automatic diagnostics is validation of specific uses. When your gps directs you to drive over a cliff you know not to do that (though some have not). Medical judgment is harder than that, but there are some real time diabetes-related tests you can do at home now (and are), then use them to decide what to eat, etc. to compensate or whether to see a doctor sooner. But the intrusive FDA bureaucracy has made everything more expensive.
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          • Posted by 10 months, 2 weeks ago
            What's to stop a website and company in another country offering this? Even with video chat with a licensed doctor in that country?
            Yes, they would know they are helping a US citizen to break the law in our country. But who the F cares... we have a right to get our care from anyone in the world we want. Our govt doesn't have jurisdiction over other countries when it comes to individual healthcare.
            Someone here will argue against me I'm sure. But the game is on for our capitalizing on our digital world. "Stay the hell out of my way" is my attitude, as someone once said...
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            • Posted by  $  CBJ 10 months, 2 weeks ago
              As a patient, how would using AI software or having a video chat with a doctor in a foreign country be breaking U.S. law?
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              • Posted by ewv 10 months, 2 weeks ago
                Using it to buy prescriptions following the doctor's advice would break US law. A doctor giving advice from a foreign country or a foreign provider of software, without a US medical license, breaks the law but the US government has no jurisdiction as long as they stay out of the country. Your own compliance with the law involves what you do, including maybe 'conspiring' with the doctor or software provider, if they want to get nasty.
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            • Posted by ewv 10 months, 2 weeks ago
              You also have the problem of reliability. Reputation of foreign web sites, let alone the possibility of outright fraud, is harder to monitor.
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              • Posted by 10 months, 1 week ago
                Monitor by the government and regulatory authorities - true. But don't forget this is everyone's individual responsibility in the first place and in the end!!
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                • Posted by ewv 10 months, 1 week ago
                  There is so much fraud on the internet with so little accountability of any kind that foreign medical sites where you can't verify reputation are especially risky.

                  Reputation always matters. It's dangerous when people ignore it because they think some government agency is doing it for them. It's worse when they become accustomed to tacitly downplaying reputation where no one is watching at all.
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    • Posted by  $  blarman 10 months, 3 weeks ago
      The other major part of this (according to doctors I have spoken with) is the high costs of medical malpractice insurance (especially for OB/GYN's). As a result, most are being forced into working for larger health centers and hospital programs which then control how they practice medicine. The healthcare centers assume the liability (and staff lawyers to shield them) but pay lower than market wages in return. Our regional system has been taken over by two major healthcare systems and truly independent doctors are now almost nowhere to be found.
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      • Posted by ewv 10 months, 3 weeks ago
        Yes the trial lawyers' lobby is part of the increase in medical care and the intimidation of doctors. Maybe laws allowing for malpractice claims against lawyers, corralling them into a huddled mass in a corporation and forced to memorize and recite lawyer jokes, would help solve the lawyer problem -- except that lawyers would have to sue themselves to make it work.
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      • Posted by 10 months, 2 weeks ago
        Thanks for the rationale. This makes sense as a cause for doctors joining major networks.
        When doctor-patient relationships were more personal and direct, there was more trust and confidence between them. I wonder how DPC practices are protecting themselves from the threat of legal action...
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 10 months, 3 weeks ago
    There are almost no providers within 250 miles of my area on FMMA.

    For an insurance-like product, you could check out the Alliance of Health Sharing Ministries. http://www.healthcaresharing.org/abou...
    Scroll down for three health sharing ministries.

    They qualify for legally avoiding the PPACA penalty according to the IRS website. They are much more market-oriented than PPACA-compliant plans. Technically they're not insurance. They're Christians helping one another with their medical bills. Even attending UU services counts as "Christian" since UU is an offshoot of Christianity.

    There is a lot not to like about them, BUT when you dig into the details and set aside the Christian language, it actually makes sense. Their basic plans are very inexpensive, and you legally avoid the PPACA penalty.
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    • Posted by 10 months, 3 weeks ago
      Thanks for this alternative! I think I had heard about them once but forgot. Not an attractive option for devout athiests like myself, but I like the innovation and chutzpah! This is worth considering in a regional strategy.
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  • Posted by wiggys 10 months, 3 weeks ago
    I highly recommend that you read the 1985 essay by Leonard Peikoff "Medicine death of a profession". it was also a discussion he gave at the ford hall forum. once read you will understand why nothing is going to change the governments movement towards socialized medicine. the government is the root cause of not only medicines death but the death of business in the usa in general as well.
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    • Posted by 10 months, 2 weeks ago
      Thanks wiggys. I remember that essay. Probably good to read again, but as ewv says we need a different kind of argument and activism today IMO. Different context than 1985.
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      • Posted by ewv 10 months, 2 weeks ago
        We need not replacement by a different kind of argument than Leonard Peikoff's, but rather more of it, along with more ongoing detailed knowledge and arguments necessary for affecting public policy -- both for helping to illustrate the consequences of government control and to implement changes once their is a better chance to get the direction of change right. In other words, the philosophic arguments are crucial, but so is expertise. Philosophy can't implement itself.
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    • Posted by ewv 10 months, 3 weeks ago
      "Medicine: The Death of a Profession" is in the anthology The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought along with Ayn Rand's "How Not to Fight Against Socialized Medicine" from the 1963 fight that stopped President Kennedy's precursor to Johnson's Medicare. https://www.amazon.com/Voice-Reason-O...

      As usual, "I told you so" means it is too late, at least for that phase and today's mess. It is not too late to give a proper argument against the current schemes to prevent the failures of government controlled medicine from being used as an excuse for extending them instead of getting rid of them.
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  • Posted by term2 10 months, 3 weeks ago
    Really good medicine isnt covered by socialized medicine. Even Mayo Clinic is not taking new medicare and medical patients, which is too bad because they have given me really good care I can attest to in my personal experience.

    Some primary care docs are going with concierge plans where you pay like $1500 a year to have access to one, in addition to the payments made by medicare.
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