The Wave of the Future – PPACA and America’s Health Care

Most Americans are in for a rude awakening when their country’s vastly subsidized healthcare industry ends up in government hands and with typical government “efficiency.” Instead of helpful interns and ebullient nurses waiting to provide vastly improved healthcare, Americans will most likely encounter overworked doctors, long lines and a restriction on the types of medicines and procedures that they will be able to obtain.

It is a simple monetary fact that the PPACA mandates practices and procedures for which there is neither sufficient staff, nor equipment or money. In truth, Americans will simply have to trade time and energy instead of money for proper healthcare. Unfortunately, when it comes to illness and bad health, many cannot afford the time.

The Freelancers Union – An Alternative under ObamaCare

With this harsh reality upon us, a proactive attention to one’s health becomes increasingly important. Freelancers Medical in Brooklyn, New York has taken this sentiment to heart and embraced its possibilities. Ostensibly established as a healthcare facility (it provides doctors, nurses and state-of-the-art facilities for freelance workers), its primary message is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Located in the heart of downtown Brooklyn, the 6,000 square foot facility offers contract workers, consultants and self-employed business owners a way to obtain affordable health care. The caveat is that the insured must avail themselves of the services of the clinic in Brooklyn and use their physicians as their primary care doctors.

The clinic is funded by the non-profit Freelancers Insurance Company. While the company was originally conceived as a way for freelancers to get traditional medical coverage, their aim has changed. With the new clinic, the goal is to provide enough access to primary medical care to avoid more costly specialty care and less hospitalization thus reducing the overall medical costs.

Preventative Medicine

The new clinic takes a page from the old medical adage to first do no harm. With just two doctors, a nurse practitioner, a nurse, a social worker, and four health coaches, the clinic is far more concerned with providing good advice about healthy practices than treating life-threatening illnesses. Of course, the doctors can provide solid medical guidance as to the best treatments available for any illness, but the real goal is to avoid unnecessary and costly procedures.

This attitude toward cost reduction will allow Freelancers Insurance Company (FIC) to hold the line on costs increases in 2013. An unusual move in an industry that expects rates to grow by 5% even before the full effects of the PPACA becomes apparent. FIC has accomplished this seeming miracle by requiring that all enrollees, from those with high deductibles to those with the most comprehensive plans to utilize the clinic. Primary care is, thus, often free and can lead to substantial savings in the long run.

The Future

Unions once had a substantial stake in providing healthcare to their workers but they were rapidly overtaken when private industry provided better plans and more affordable rates. The resurgence of union health care plans is undoubtedly due to the recognition that primary care should be conducted in a less cost-intensive situation than a hospital.

Facilities like the Freelancers Medical can certainly provide a significant degree of care for its members but its capabilities should not be mistaken for those available at a major hospital or trauma center. There is room and, indeed, a need, for both in the 21st century American medical industry. It remains to be seen, however, the ways in which the two will be integrated by the PPACA and the U.S. government.

In the meantime, companies and their employees will have to weather the uncertainty of the coming government bureaucracy and all the waste that it entails. Employees should certainly act in their own best interests and consider all the opportunities presented by their employers and the government. Employers, unfortunately, have it less easy as they must make educated guesses as to the future. In fact, many small to mid-sized companies have decided to outsource the entire process to Professional Employer Organizations. These PEO companies may not be able to solve all the problems inherent in the PPACA but they can surely offer some sage advice and guidance over the coming months.

About the Author
Carolyn Sokol is a founder of which helps match small businesses with the best PEO company for their particular needs. Her background is in marketing and communications, employee education and training, development of policies and procedures and the ongoing delivery of outstanding customer service.  As a frequent contributor to’s library, she writes about PEOs and HR Outsourcing as well as other small business interest topics.