Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Great Deceit:  Insurance Does Not Equal Care       

Everything that deceives enchants.

Plato (426-348 BC), The Republic

One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.

 Niccolo Machiavelli  (1469-1527),  The Prince XVIII

At the heart of heart of the multi-headed abominable creature know as Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, there lies a singular deceit…Insurance does not equal care. One patient’s needs can get in the way of another’s needs. My waiting room is like so many others in America, and when it is clogged with several patients with low-paying highly-regulated insurance, the waiting time goes up and the access to quality medical care goes down.

Marc Seigel, M.D., Practicing Internist and Professor of Medicine at NYU, “What a Doctor Knows about Obama care,"New York Post, March 31, 2012

March 31, 2012 –  Perhaps the cruelest irony of Obamacare is that under its rules, regulations, and mandates,  people will receive less not more care

In other words,  the health law promises more care but delivers less care. The enchantment of Obamacare is, of course, is that it will provide universal  insurance coverage, hence automatic medical care, for all Americans. In medical practices, that is not the case.

In today’s New York Post,  Marc Seigel. M.D.,  demolishes this myth, or “deceit,” as he likes to call it.   In no uncertain terms, he says federally-mandated insurance will not translate into more care, patients will have a harder  time finding a doctor to care for them,  many people will lose their employer-based insurance,  and Medicaid patients and the newly uninsured will clog emergency rooms.

Here are excerpts from the Seigel article:

“A false premise of ObamaCare is that mandating insurance for all somehow enables the ERs take care of all comers. In fact, studies show that Medicaid patients are much more likely to use the ER unnecessarily than are the uninsured. This clogs the ER and interferes with life-saving treatments for other patients.”

“Plus, the states, overburdened with administering the Medicaid expansion, will inevitably cut reimbursements to the hospitals, lowering the bottom line payments a hospital receives even as its volume increases.”

“Though politicians may even have the best of intentions when they compel you -- in defiance of the Constitution, in my opinion -- to purchase a product known as health insurance, in fact they are not even achieving their stated goal of providing for the public good, since this insurance doesn't equal care.”

“Two years ago, when the law was passed, there was a pocket of patients who worked part time, had no health insurance, and looked forward to the day when they would be covered. But that early group of optimists has given way to a much larger group who worry that they will lose the employer-provided coverage they now have, and end up being forced to the state exchanges where they will be compelled to purchase (if the mandate survives) a policy they can’t afford with an inadequate federal subsidy.”

“Most of my patients are rooting for the Affordable Care Act to unravel especially if the individual mandate is declared unconstitutional. -- Transcripts and audiotape from the court this week make this possibility appear likely.”

“If ObamaCare somehow survives with or without the mandate, 16 million new Medicaid patients will quickly find out what current Medicaid patients already know; that it is very tough to find a doctor or network of doctors who will work with your insurance.”

“ObamaCare’s Independent Medicare Advisory Board and other regulatory committees and mandates will make it more and more difficult for doctors like me to practice and to order the tests and treatments we feel our patients need. We will require more staff hours to deal with all the red tape. As more of us drop out and no longer accept insurance, another unconstitutional mandate will become necessary to compel doctors to participate again.”

“Doctors everywhere are hoping and praying that dreaded day never comes. Even though the individual mandate and perhaps all of ObamaCare now appears to be in serious jeopardy thanks to the Supreme Court, doctors and their patients are not yet starting to breathe easier.”

Tweet:  Under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, the cruel deceit is that access to care by doctors is likely to decrease not increase.