While President Obama continues to modify his healthcare law–already proven to be a web of bureaucracy and anything but affordable–the free market continues to demonstrate that Americans can find what works for them without government intervention.
Sean Parnell’s blog, The Self-Pay Patient, is a tool for all Americans who want to be in charge of their own health care, without the government or an insurance company acting as an intermediary or provider of reimbursement payments to physicians and other health professionals.
Parnell, the author of the book The Self-Pay Patient, which will be released in December, has designed both his blog and his book to be a “users’ guide” to self-pay medicine. In the regularly updated blog, which started in August, readers are able to find doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other health care providers whom they can pay directly for services.
Though Parnell describes himself as “personally skeptical” of ObamaCare and its consequences, his blog and book are focused not on health care policy pros and cons but on the needs of self-pay patients who want to access affordable, high-quality health care.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Parnell discussed his work and the increasing number of self-pay options when it comes to health care.
“The Self-Pay Patient can help people who want to pay exclusively for their own health care, or for those who still have health insurance but need additional coverage for special treatments,” Parnell said.
“There’s a lot more interest in self-pay options,” he told Breitbart News. “New companies and websites are springing up to fill in the self-pay area. To me, this suggests that more companies are seeing greater demand for direct care.”
Parnell said that there will be many Americans who won’t be able to afford health insurance after ObamaCare is fully enacted.
“The self-pay market is the free market in health care,” Parnell explained. “I like to compare it to homeschooling in the education arena. Parents who say government schools are not for them have found alternatives in homeschooling or private schools. Americans who say ObamaCare or third-party healthcare is not for them are finding self-pay options.”
Parnell said that the cost savings he has witnessed with self-pay health care has been substantial.
“Everything I’ve seen in the self-pay market points to lower costs. Patients have the incentive to shop around for health care services and products and end up being more prudent in their shopping.”
In a blog post dated November 11th, for example, Parnell explained to readers the value of critical illness insurance as an alternative to health insurance.
As opposed to catastrophic health insurance, which is no longer available under ObamaCare, critical illness insurance works like life insurance.
“If a medical illness strikes, the insurer writes a check to the patient after receiving confirmation of the diagnosis. The patient then has the money to pay for treatment,” Parnell said.
Parnell explained that critical illness insurance, or another benefit called “accident insurance,” can be either a rider to a life insurance policy or a stand-alone policy. Some examples of companies that sell critical illness insurance are AFLAC, Mutual of Omaha, and Aetna, he said.
“However, there are lots more websites for patients to peruse,” said Parnell. “MediBid has been around for the longest time and is probably the most robust right now. But smaller companies will start up and either flourish or fail depending on how they perform in the free market.”
“The CBO has said that 30 million people will still remain uninsured even with ObamaCare, and tens of millions of people will be in very high deductible policies,” he warned. “Employers will likely be moving toward high deductible plans as well.”
Parnell said he wouldn’t be surprised if 75-80 million Americans end up self-paying for their health care.
He added that privacy with regard to electronic health records is another reason why many people are shopping for self-pay options. “The electronic medical records system is a reason for concern.”
“There’s a very substantial free market in health care. Pretty much anything somebody might need in health care can be found in the free market,” Parnell stated. “It’s not just about Lasik and plastic surgeries. The free market is functioning quite well and there is plenty of affordable health care.”
Visitors to Parnell’s blog, The Self-Pay Patient, can sign up to receive regular updates as he shares more information on free market health care.