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Overcoming Obamacare by Oliver DeMille

ObamaCareDo we have an answer yet? Not quite.

But we’re making progress.

A few months ago I suggested that many companies were going to lay off a lot of employees when Obamacare went into effect — starting in October 2013 and increasing for the next eighteen months.

Then I asked for input from readers: How can business owners overcome the negative effects of Obamacare and avoid laying off or shutting down?

A lot of people responded to this question, and many of the suggestions were excellent. Out of all the wise responses, one really struck me, because it showed true out-of-the box entrepreneurial thinking.

It went something like this: The entrepreneurs in our nation need to put their business innovation skills to figuring out a private business model that will provide effective, affordable health care that beats whatever the government is offering.

While this kind of innovation would require major creativity, initiative, and risk, not to mention capitalization, the rewards would be huge.

Actually, another response to my online question may provide part of the answer: Get people thinking health, not health care. This is much less expensive, easy, and effective. It doesn’t cover emergency care, and it won’t work for everyone, nor will it solve the short-term problem faced by small businesses, but it is certainly the right solution for a lot of people. Get a lot healthier.

A combination of these two might just be on to something.

The biggest problem isn’t Obamacare, it’s a generation that doesn’t naturally think of innovative, out-of-the box, entrepreneurial solutions for every major challenge. Humans are amazingly creative — there are real solutions to the Obamacare dilemma. Entrepreneurs need to find them, and make them profitable so they spread.

In fact, the whole reason Obamacare came about is that for a long time insurance companies could collect payments from a client for twenty or thirty years — and then raise the price beyond his ability to pay when a serious health problem came along. In short, health care was a major problem before Obamacare.

That said, there are solutions. Keep thinking like innovators. And keep sharing your creativity.

So, here is my new question: What is the real solution to health care? Write it, and share it…


odemille Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.


  1. Janiece Sloan says

    A good first step is to look at what others are already doing such as self-funded health care plans. Tall Tree Administrators at talltreehealth.com is a third-party administrator for self-funded healthcare plans. Icon Fitness is a company who has been using self-funded medical plans for years. Their employee benefits are found on the web using a simple search. ICON also took the initiative to perform their own study to assess the benefits of adding a new assessment to their medical plan benefits. They were pleased with the results. The study can be found at http://www.petersonwellnesscenter.com/icon.php.

    I have not undertaken an in depth personal study of the above ideas myself as of yet, but have been impressed by their initiative and innovation and would be a place I would start to see what they have done and what is working and not working.

  2. Captain Bill Howard says

    Great question Oliver! I’ve been pondering just this challenge as my personal healthcare coverage has blossomed to cost 60% more in the last 2 years. (Note, the company pointed their finger directly @ ACA) So I thought about concierge as and option with a catastrophic care plan but wasn’t sure it would be as much of a savings as I’d like. Then I remembered a solution we used when the Federal Government demanded all fuel dispensing locations located on the water enlist in government approved contracts with fuel spill clean up companies. This had exactly the same result as the ACA as it created a government sanctioned monopoly and the prices were predictably outrageous. All the citizens located in the immediate area rebelled and we created our own fuel spill cleanup co-op, complete with sanctioned training and all volunteer. Only requirement was each company had to designate on volunteer for training annually. We sidestepped the government overreach. Why couldn’t we create healthcare co-ops? The possibilities are endless and the savings substantial if it was a non-profit. There are many, many ways to skin a cat; the trick is to find the most efficient!

  3. I have also been pondering this situation – and I love what both Cpt Bill and Janeice say. I feel like the solution to the healthcare problem is somewhere in between two situations that I know of – both are local solutions and both were basically mentioned above! The first is a free clinic at which I volunteer (and reminds me of the co-op type situation Cpt. Bill mentioned). We provide healthcare to people that cannot afford insurance and healthcare on their own. We focus predominantly on wellness, because it is true that well people spend less in healthcare. This is a donation-based clinic, and that is not sustainable across the whole population, but there may be a way to incorporate the next scenario to make it both profitable and sustainable for a community. The second scenario is the concierge physician service – a physician that charges a flat rate, usually monthly, to their patients and is then available to them like the doctors of the old days – with house calls and everything. I don’t know enough about this to fully understand how hospital stays are covered and paid for or any of that, but the flat fee for all – isn’t that basically what we do with insurance premiums, anyway?
    So – it seems that utilizing some ideas from both of these models, on a community basis, would solve some of the challenges. It could be set up like a local insurance company (to Janiece’s point), funded by the community members.

    And the healthcare needs to be administered by the community – local hospital with skin in the game, rather than the hospital that is a satellite from a big conglomerate 1000 miles away (and uses the losses from that little hospital to make their bottom line look better, so who cares if it fails?)

    So, that is really just a long answer to say that I think the answer is in utilizing the benefits of what both the other comments mention – and I love the comparison to how the oil-spill requirements were used and circumvented. This is a big problem, but I think it would be fun and challenging to get together with people that cared and were solutions-focused to come up with something that would work.

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