Will health insurance companies in the US fade out completely by 2020? This is what former advisors to the Obama administration, Ezekiel J Emanuel and Jeffrey B Liebman writing in the Opinion pages of The New York Times, boldly predict.
They say that the extinct breed of insurance companies will be replaced by 'Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) — groups of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers who come together to provide the full range of medical care for patients'.
To this, Dr. George Watson, former president of the Association of American Physicians, says in news.heartland.org, 'Perhaps doctors will finally realize that they were brainwashed to believe they could not succeed unless they signed all the insurance contracts. Doctors will suddenly realize that patients need doctors, not insurance companies, and patients will gladly pay a fair, transparent price, not the inflated price caused by the insurance game. Doctors will learn to trust each other and their patients, and boot out the lying insurance companies and politicians.'
He finally concludes, 'The third-party payment model has failed. Managed care didn't save it, and neither can ACOs. It deserves to be extinct, and it will be if patients and physicians return to the direct-payment model that has always worked, and true insurance is allowed to compete fairly.'