Posted to NYC News on

State Slaps Dr. Do-Good

NY Post

Dr. John Muney’s unlimited office care for
uninsured patients got the thumbsdown
from the state.

The state is trying to shut down a New York City doctor’s ambitious plan to treat uninsured patients for around $1,000 a year.

Dr. John Muney offers his patients everything from mammograms to mole removal at his AMG Medical Group clinics, which operate in all five boroughs.

“I’m trying to help uninsured people here,” he said.

His patients agree to pay $79 a month for a year in return for unlimited office visits with a $10 co-pay.

But his plan landed him in the crosshairs of the state Insurance Department, which ordered him to drop his fixed-rate plan – which it claims is equivalent to an insurance policy.

Muney insists it is not insurance because it doesn’t cover anything that he can’t do in his offices, like complicated surgery. He points out his offices do not operate 24/7 so they can’t function like emergency rooms.

“I’m not doing an insurance business,” he said. “I’m just providing my services at my place during certain hours.”

He says he can afford to charge such a small amount because he doesn’t have to process mountains of paperwork and spend hours on billing.

“If they leave me alone, I can serve thousands of patients,” he said.

The state believes his plan runs afoul of the law because it promises to cover unplanned procedures – like treating a sudden ear infection – under a fixed rate. That’s something only a licensed insurance company can do.

“The law is strict on how insurance is defined,” said an Insurance Department spokesman.

A possible solution that Muney’s lawyer crafted would force patients to pay more than $10 for unplanned procedures.

They are waiting to see if the state will accept the compromise. Still, Muney is unhappy because, he said, “I really don’t want to charge more. They’re forcing me.”

One of his patients, Matthew Robinson, 52, was furious to learn the state was interfering with the plan.

“The whole point is, he [Muney] found a way of paying his rent, paying his workers, and getting to see patients for the price,” said Robinson.

“How can the state dictate you’ve got to charge more?”


  • 1. Shocked healthcare provider wrote:

    Is America really the Land of Freedom? How can anyone tell this man how to run his business? Sounds like USSR (everything regulated and equal)…

  • 2. Not Judging wrote:

    I side with the state. This guy is either a tzaddik, or a fox in sheeps clothing getting people to pay for his medical services before they realize his guys are quacks. In order to avoid scams the state regulates such activity – and since what he is doing is only a hairbreadth away from a possible scam, he should get himself registered as an insurance so the state can keep watch.

  • 3. Not Judging - typical liberal wrote:

    If the guy is making a living honestly and up-frontly and the state is shutting him down – the state MUST be right! I mean common don’t tell me the state may have an ulterior motive?! the state is right. they only regulate things that need to be regulated (e.g. Trans Fat, sugar [dont you dare drink coke!] etc etc.)

    Lets be honest: If the guy wasn’t licensed or was performing procedures he had no expertise in – the govt would already have him in jail long ago. The only thing they can come up with is that he is acting like an insurance company without proper licensing, GET A LIFE!!!


  • 4. jefferson wrote:

    hey #2 –
    you sound like the commie sheeple!
    oh isn’t it so wonderful that big brother is taking care of us, and watching us to make sure we don’t do anything unapproved!

  • 5. a admirer of real freedom wrote:

    Can’t you understand? The Gov’t does not want real affordable health care President Obama does not want real change he does not want goo doer’s The Socialist dictate Gov’t must control everything including your health!!! How dare someone be a goody goody, make a honest living & actually help people with out all that lovelly paper work????????!!!!!!!!!

  • 6. Michoel H wrote:

    It is as simple as it is sad. Anybody with a little exposure to the realm of policy makers, government officials, etc, knows that most of them receive either directly or thru various other ways, “tokens of apppreciation” from the big companies such as insurance and others. The insurers heard of this, called the right guy and kindly requested that he deal with it, promise him that his valuable time would be compensated, and bingo! The doctor is doing something illegal! How on earth did he think that he could get away with doing something good?
    Wake up people; the reality out there is as the Gemorah states: the strongest prevails כל דאלים גבר
    One Doctor vs insurance industry; who would you bet for?

  • 7. Me wrote:

    “He says he can afford to charge such a small amount because he doesn’t have to process mountains of paperwork and spend hours on billing.”

    Pretty much sums up what is wrong with our current system.

  • 8. Knute5 wrote:

    He was probably taking patients from other healthcare providers, thus the complaint and thus the government action. Follow the money…

  • 9. drock wrote:

    @ people above:

    You realize this has nothing to do with the Government right? This is the insurance company (which republicans/conservatives defend) trying to shut down his practice because the thousands of people he treats no longer need insurance which hurts their bottom line.

    They happen to be trying to use a law that is in place to protect consumers against fraud to shut him down. If we had *gasp* a socialist single payer system we wouldn’t be having this problem because there would be no insurance companies to shut him down.

  • 10. Bill St. Clair wrote:

    Affordable health care, with no money or power given to worthless bureaucrats? Gotta nip that in the bud. People might realize that we don’t need no steenking nationalized health care.

    Separation of medicine and state!

  • 11. Patrick Chkoreff wrote:

    He could just charge the patient “normal” rates up to a point, then work pro-bono for the patient for the rest of the year after that.

    That avoids any possible confusion with “insurance,” since the doctor is simply doing charity work.

  • 12. Some Guy wrote:

    Not Judging & a amirer of real freedom:

    You guys DO mean Fascist, not Socialist, right? As this situation is in the interest of the insurance companies, corporate entities, rather than the collective population or government? :)

    If this were a “socialist” reaction, the reason would have been far different than “he’s competing with the insurance companies and hurting their profits.”

  • 13. Chad wrote:

    All this is is scare tactics being used against the doctor. The insurance bullies don’t want other doctors catching on, because if they do, billions could be lost by these scoundrels. It’s all about the greenbacks. Screw the sick, it’s not about that in their eyes.

  • 14. ryan wrote:

    This scenario displays perfectly the problem with regulation in the healthcare market. Instead of blaming insurance companies for unaffordable coverage, why not ask “why are prices so high”?

    The reason prices are so high is because of all these regulations preventing the free market from actually being free.

    If you still don’t understand, I suggest you read this blog post, it is great:

  • 15. Monica Ashley wrote:

    Shoot, I might be able to get this boil taken care of if there was a doctor around here like him. His plan sounds awesome! Why shut him down? It’s his office, his skills, his business. This really bothers me.

  • 17. Al wrote:

    Maybe the real problem us that there’s line between health INSURANCE and COVERAGE.

  • 18. ArtP wrote:

    Yep, that’s right because that’s the law in most states. It doesn’t matter which party is responsible for that law, or whether it’s sensible or not, it IS the law and the Insurance Dept is doing what it is supposed to do … regulate insurance and enforce the law. Clearly, this doc is offering a form of insurance without a license/permit/authorization from the state. It’s sad, but that’s what you get when the government starts regulating an industry. Inflexible laws that the bureaucrats are required to enforce. Solution: get government out of the insurance regulation business.

    On the other hand, insurance regulators also are responsible for making sure insurance companies have proper reserves so if they become insolvent, the policy holders are protected. What happens to the patients that took this doc up on his offer if he gets run over by a bus, God forbid?

  • 19. Roman wrote:

    I wonder how much it would cost to treat anyone who walks into a hospital, take their thumb print, and have their full medical history

    (I say thumbprint, but, it could be ID, but thumbprint would be better, because more people have thumbs than ID)

    don’t bill them, no billing at all, take that out of the taxes.

    why cant this be the public option?

  • 20. singsweetly wrote:

    to own your own bisness and charge what he!!!!! feels fit for his servises . the insurence companeys sees that this will in fackt take off like wild fire and spead and they will be out millions of dollers insurence is about money deffinetly NOT people.
    and the insurence people whant’s to cut this off before others can join in . because this is what the people whant health care that is affordable!!!!!

  • 21. Not me wrote:

    Just out of curiosity, would Obama’s government plan take away all the paperwork hassles? If so, that could lead to some major savings. When I got to my doctor, there is one woman whose full time job seems to be filling out all the paperwork.

  • 22. Carson wrote:

    God bless this good Doctor. God d..n the state of NY Insurance Ministry of the USRA (United Socialist Republic of America).


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