About a year before the birth of ObamaCare, Dr. Keith Smith, director of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, posted all the prices for his center’s surgeries online.
Today, he’s in expansion mode, looking to build two more operating rooms. His fastest-growing group of patients? ObamaCare enrollees.
Though armed with ObamaCare health insurance plans, the patients are saddled with high deductibles. Looking for alternatives, some of them fly from around the country to the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, where the cost of care and travel together amounts to less than their deductibles under their Affordable Care Act plans.
The Surgery Center of Oklahoma is a physician-owned operation that does not take Medicare or Medicaid and only selectively works with private insurance plans. Patients pay in cash or with cashier’s checks.
“Even if someone has this (ObamaCare) insurance card in their pocket, they are soon going to find out that it’s worthless,” Smith said, citing both higher prices and doctor shortages under ObamaCare. “Coverage doesn’t mean care.”