Maybe there’s a silver lining to Obamacare if more doctors follow the lead of this fellow in Maine. I pray that they do.
Dr. Michael Ciampi is able to charge half of what he used to charge for his services now that the red tape and general pain of dealing with deeply regulated insurance companies has been eliminated. He figures that the hassle is only going to get worse with Obamacare, so he has decided to go another route.
An article in the Washington Times by Dr. Richard Armstrong (2/6/12, P 36) explains that the AMA as recently as the 1960′s represented 70% of American doctors, but now only represents 15%. In the 1960′s, it opposed the creation of Medicare. The government decided to win the AMA over by granting it a monopoly in 1983 on the treatment coding system to be used in Medicare. The same CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) system is now used by private insurers as well and brings in an estimated $50-80 million to the AMA each year, vastly more than comes in from member dues or other sources. In this way, the government gave the AMA a stake in the federal system of medicine.