ObamaCare and the law of unintended consequences
Today seems to be a “government and the law of unintended consequences” day. Below you saw the consequences of draconian diet rules. Here we’ll see the effect of poorly written law and government intrusion into the most effective health care system in the world. Dr. Scott Gottlieb explains:
President Obama guaranteed Americans that after health reform became law they could keep their insurance plans and their doctors. It’s clear that this promise cannot be kept. Insurers and physicians are already reshaping their businesses as a result of Mr. Obama’s plan.
Gottlieb goes on to explain why the caps on how much an insurer can spend on expenses and take for profits is going to result in huge changes in the way medicine is delivered. One thing that is rapidly happening now is doctors, seeing the handwriting on the wall, are opting to sell their practices and services to insurance companies and hospitals. As Gottlieb points out:
Consolidated practices and salaried doctors will leave fewer options for patients and longer waiting times for routine appointments. Like the insurers, physicians are responding to the economic burdens of the president’s plan in one of the few ways they’re permitted to.
That means they’ll work under the rules dictated by either the insurance company or a hospital – in both cases an entity which comes between you and your doctor. It means less choice, less access, fewer doctors available to see depending on your insurance plan. And the obvious possibility that the doctor you’re now happy with may not be on your plan when all of this falls out. Gottlieb summarizes:
The bottom line: Defensive business arrangements designed to blunt ObamaCare’s economic impacts will mean less patient choice.
There are other unintended consequences as well that point to less choice. Texas provides the example:
Texas doctors are opting out of Medicare at alarming rates, frustrated by reimbursement cuts they say make participation in government-funded care of seniors unaffordable.
Two years after a survey found nearly half of Texas doctors weren’t taking some new Medicare patients, new data shows 100 to 200 a year are now ending all involvement with the program. Before 2007, the number of doctors opting out averaged less than a handful a year.
“This new data shows the Medicare system is beginning to implode,” said Dr. Susan Bailey, president of the Texas Medical Association. “If Congress doesn’t fix Medicare soon, there’ll be more and more doctors dropping out and Congress’ promise to provide medical care to seniors will be broken.”
Remember this is the same government that is now messing with the rest of the system. How will Congress “fix” Medicare? As is obvious, doctors are dropping out because they can’t afford to stay in that system. As Dr. Guy Culpepper said:
“You do Medicare for God and country because you lose money on it,” said Culpepper, a graduate of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. “The only way to provide cost-effective care is outside the Medicare system, a system without constant paperwork and headaches and inadequate reimbursement.”
And fewer and fewer doctors are finding they can afford to do Medicare for “God and country” and stay in business.
So you have this new realignment taking place among doctors, hospitals and insurers and a growing trend of doctors opting out of the Medicare system and yet the promise of increased and better care as a result of government meddling is still being parroted by our political betters.
“If you like your doctor and you like your insurance company … blah, blah, blah.” You just have to wonder when we’ll ever learn.
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