Following the state Senate and House, Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper just did an amazing thing: he signed into law a slap in the face of the onerous and fascistic so-called “Affordable Care Act" (also known as the “Obamacare” statute) allowing Colorado citizens a very effective market method of skirting the mandate and, perhaps, keeping their costs a lot lower.
The bill, signed into law on April 24, is called HB 1115, and stipulates that Direct Primary Care Agreements (DPCAs), also known as Medical Retainer Agreements (MRAs), are not insurance, and, as a result, doctors offering them and patients agreeing to enter into them are not required to conform to the thousands of pages of Obamacare mandates.
This is a significant move by legislators in a state that has already pushed back against invasive federal laws when it comes to marijuana, and it could dramatically improve the health care agreements of thousands of residents while reducing costs.
Essentially, a DPCA is one in which patients deal directly with a doctor, making regular payments (usually monthly) to the physician in return for a promise from the doctor and staff to provide a list of offered services. It’s like a “medical club,” where interested customers can purchase access, and the provider agrees to certain standard services.
This is incredibly beneficial for families and people who want regular check-ups while they carry a low-premium/high-deductible insurance plan for rare catastrophic illnesses or injuries, and it allows for huge savings while giving the doctors and patients the ability to check quality and compete.
These direct patient/doctor agreements allow a system uncontrolled by government regulations to develop. It makes doctors responsive to patients, not insurance company bureaucrats or government rule-makers. Allowing patients to contract directly with doctors via medical retainer agreements opens the market. Under such agreements, market forces will set price for services based on both demand instead of relying on central planners with a political agenda. The end-result will be better care delivered at a lower cost.
It also flies in the face of all the political machinations that have led to and been written into Obamacare.
The Colorado DPCA market is another example of how individuals who want services, and individuals who are willing to provide them, will work to find ways around political interference, and the new law is, in essence, a soft method by which Colorado citizens are working to nullify another unconstitutional federal statute.
Given the very low prospect that Republicans will do the proper thing and eliminate the “Guaranteed Issue” mandate foist upon insurance companies by “Obamacare,” the people and the state governments will be forced to directly nullify or find methods of circumventing the federal law.
This is a positive step, allowing people to be freer, and it harkens back to Thomas Jefferson’s powerful Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 that nullified the Alien and Sedition Acts. Faced with a flagrantly unconstitutional move by the John Adams Administration to ban criticism of the President, silence the press, and block immigrants, Jefferson wrote these resolutions to remind the politicians in Washington that they did not have the constitutional power to pass such laws. Each time he noted an unconstitutional overreach, he also wrote why it was so, and that it was, as he said, “altogether void, and of no force.”
While Colorado’s HB 1115 is not an explicit expression of nullification, it comes close, in a state where the sentiment against onerous federal laws seems to be on the upswing, a state that has seen many others follow it.
Perhaps many states will follow Coloradans in this area as well, and more DPCA agreements will start appearing all over the United States.