#1 A sober look at Obamacare: "Welcome to Third-World Health Care"
11-22-2013, 04:35 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
This is the best article I have found on the effects of this disastrous bill.
Welcome to Third-World Health Care
I participated in a meeting in the Capitol the other day....I was with a group of physicians. They were there to plead with members of Congress to be allowed to continue doing their jobs. These are highly skilled, extremely well trained, very popular and successful doctors. Men and women dedicated to serving and healing their patients. And there they were, hat in hand, like paupers begging for scraps of food, like Oliver Twist — “Please, sir, may I have some more?”
Whether they may continue is very much in doubt, and is entirely at the whim of a handful of bureaucrats and politicians. Already they are being required to spend money on electronic medical records that don’t work very well...A recent study found that Emergency Room physicians are now spending 43 percent of their time on data entry and only 28 percent on direct patient care.
More importantly, these physicians are finding that their patients are being forced out of the insurance plans they have, because Jay Carney and Zeke Emmanuel have deemed them “substandard.” Some of the doctors said they will try to continue caring for their patients even after the insurance runs out, others said they just can’t afford to give away free care.
Obamacare is no answer. The health plans in the exchanges are using “skinny networks” to save money. That means no payment if a patient goes to an “out-of-network” provider, and in many cases only a third of an area’s physicians and hospitals are in the network. Naturally, these are the cheapest and worst providers in the region. The Anthem plan in Maine, one of only two choices in that state, will make no payment for any out-of-state provider, even though most patients with serious conditions in Maine go to Boston for treatment.
Private Medicare plans, too, are dropping physicians by the thousands because Obamacare slashed Medicare Advantage payments starting in 2014.
The physicians visiting the Capitol are in a panic. Even if they provide care for free, they can’t pay for their patients’ lab tests and hospital stays. People will die.
This is not hyperbole. The state high-risk pools that provide coverage for the very sickest of our citizens will shut down on January 1, 2014. Hundred of thousands of people in the middle of treatment will be suddenly uninsured, unless the exchanges are working like a charm in six weeks.
The Republican Members of Congress the physicians met with are sympathetic, but their hands are also tied by bureaucracy and procedures. Even if they successfully repealed Obamacare, it is too late. The risk pools are gone. The individual market is gone. Within a few months small employer coverage will be gone, never to come back.
A replacement plan will take months, even years, to enact and implement. And it will still be a political solution. Political solutions are the work of committees. They are never very good. They may be more bad or less bad, but they are never good.
I had to tell these physicians that I see no way out. The politicians, bureaucrats, and special interests have destroyed what was a reasonably effective health care system.
Henry Chou, the fellow from CMS who oversaw the healthcare.gov web site development, famously said last spring that he was hoping the web site wasn’t “a third-world experience.” That’s the least of it. We are now facing an entire health care system that is a third-world experience.
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