Outsourcing may be the unintended consequence of Obamacare | Don Brunell’s Business View

When the so-called Affordable Care Act was signed into law, President Obama promised that health care would be affordable and repeatedly assured Americans that if they liked their health plan and their doctor, they could keep them.

When the so-called Affordable Care Act was signed into law, President Obama promised that health care would be affordable and repeatedly assured Americans that if they liked their health plan and their doctor, they could keep them.

Neither promise has come true. Millions of people are losing their preferred coverage, tens of thousands of doctors plan to retire rather than deal with the ACA, and costs are skyrocketing.

Last March, the Congressional Budget Office doubled the original cost estimate of “Obamacare” to $1.76 trillion over the next 10 years. Recently, the CBO estimated 6 million Americans — mostly in the middle class — will pay the health care tax rather than buy coverage under President Obama’s health care law, a 50 percent increase over the CBO’s estimate of just two years ago. Meanwhile, our national debt is spinning out of control and accelerating at a faster and faster pace.

Where will we go for health care? 

More of us will find affordable quality health care offshore and, regardless of how hard the president, Congress, governors, insurance commissioners or legislators try to regulate or control it,  Americans — passports in hand — will fly away for treatment.

That’s what 56-year-old Atlanta personal trainer Ralph Ballard did in 2009, which was before Obamacare passed. Uninsured and needing a hip replacement, he found that his options stateside were severely limited. “At one hospital, I was told that my costs would start at $60,000! And that didn’t cover the doctor, the prosthesis, the guy who sweeps the floor,” Ballard told MSN.

So Ballard did research on the Internet and eventually contacted a medical practice in Costa Rica. He learned that $17,200 would cover the cost of his surgery, including a titanium prosthetic ball set in his hip, all tests and X-rays, a brief hospital stay, two weeks at a pleasant ranch where he received excellent food and daily physical therapy, and transfers to and from the airport. He paid extra only for his airfare.

How is he doing today? “It was the best thing I ever did. The hip is perfect now, my surgeon was great, and they treated me wonderfully. If I ever need another procedure, I’m going back there,” Ballard says.

Others are joining Ballard looking outside the U.S. for treatment as Obamacare and government-dominated state health care exchanges like Washington’s take control of our health care. The skyrocketing costs and morass of rules, regulations and restrictions are driving Americans to look to other countries for treatment.

There is a flood of American patients heading abroad for surgeries and other medical and dental treatments. “There’s been between a 20 percent and a 30 percent growth rate for this sort of travel in just the last five years,” says Josef Woodman, author of the book series and website Patients Without Borders and CEO of Healthy Travel Media.

Just as Ford, GM and Chrysler learned, global competition is here to stay. Why would it not apply to health care? Anyone can go online today and find the savings Ralph Ballard did three years ago. As health care and insurance costs skyrocket in the United States, more and more people will likely couple treatment with a vacation.

It is the law of unintended consequences, something our elected officials seem to ignore these days.

Americans are known for their ingenuity and creativity. Do the supporters of government-run health care really believe we are going to sit back and let state and federal bureaucrats dictate our health care, limit our choices and load us up with higher premiums and taxes while they increase the federal deficit to subsidize government run health care?

The answer is clear.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in Business

A Darigold dairy worker practices picketing as a strike is approved by the union. Photo courtesy of Julia Issa
Puget Sound Darigold workers on verge of strike amid contract negotiations

Workers cite lack of medical leave, outsourcing and bad-faith negotiations as reason for strike.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Japan’s hydrogen pilot may work in Washington

The Evergreen state already excels at using renewable energy. What if we added hydrogen to the mix?

Don Brunell
Power of Our Interconnected Grid with Ample Supply | Brunell

Cheers to the Pacific Northwest power grid for weathering our recent heat wave

Don Brunell
Family Tree Farms Key to Cutting Greenhouse Gases | Brunell

Small-time tree farmers are the unsung heroes of our healthy forests

Dave and Buster's restaurant and entertainment venue looks to hire 130 people to staff its Bellevue venue, set to open in August. Photo courtesy Dave and Busters.
Dave and Buster’s hiring 130 for August opening in Bellevue

Dave and Buster’s restaurant and entertainment venue opens in downtown Bellevue on… Continue reading

Don Brunell
Water has a greenhouse gas problem | Brunell

Polluted bodies of water, especially rivers and streams, release nearly 4 billion tons of CO2 every year.

Don Brunell
Land is the wild card in Biden’s green gamble |Brunell

It will take a lot of land to covert the U.S. to 100 percent renewable energy.

Images of dishes from Issaquah’s Umi Cafe posted on the SMORS page. (Photo courtesy of Kristen Ho)
Facebook page promotes minority-owned restaurants across Puget Sound region

Miya Nazzaro used to be a member of Facebook pages that were… Continue reading

Don Brunell
Ignoring China’s grip on critical metals production is not an option | Brunell

China processes more than 90 percent of the world’s manganese, while the U.S. has none.

Ian McLeod speaks with customers behind the desk at Rock Paper Games on Main Street in Buckley on the afternoon of May 11. Photo by Alex Bruell
Buckley game shop is a critical hit

‘Rock Paper Games’ has weathered COVID-19 with the help of the Plateau gaming community

Don Brunell
Building our future electricity supply around hydropower | Brunell

Instead of eliminating fossil-fuel power plants, Washington and New Zealand should work on making those plants fore energy efficient.

The Moe Vegan food truck serves meals at the city of Kent’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 21, 2020. Sound Publishing file photo
King County fire marshals offer regulatory relief to food trucks

39 fire authorities have reportedly agreed to standardize fire codes and inspections.