Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Americans and Their Physicians Resist ObamaCare

For reform to succeed,  people must conform. They are unlikely to conform without the proper incentives.


Latest results of five national polls (Fox News, Rasmussen Reports, Gallup, Associated Press, and CBC News) find 38.8% favor ObamaCare while 51.0% oppose the law, a 12.7% spread.   The margin is greatest in the Fox News polls, 38% to 55%, a 17% margin.

Doctors are even more opposed.  In a  poll conducted by the New York State Medical Society, just 23% of 459 doctors surveyed they will accept patients who sign up for health exchanges.    Among medical groups represented by the Medical Group Medical Association (MGMA), the nation's largest such organization,   only  40% of doctor groups said they would take patients who signed up for the exchanges.

Conformity to government policies is a necessary ingredient for any health law to succeed.   But conformity have not been achieved   nearly 4 ½ years after ObamaCare passed.   The reasons for this lack of conformity are clear -  rising premiums and deductibles due to the law,  broken promises with loss of doctors and health plans,  the botched healthcare.gov launch with its lingering glitches and errors that have yet to be repaired,  uncertainty among the nation’s businesses with the hiring of part-time rather than full-time workers,   and the slow economic recovery with a 1.5% -  2% growth rate rather than a 3% to 4% growth required for full  prosperity.

What is needed for Americans and physicians to have sufficient confidence to conform to government policies?   More have turned  people have  turned to bottom-up market-driven care rather than top-down government controlled care.   

This is not new.  Regina Herzlinger expressed this point of view clearly in her 1997 book Market Driven Health Care and in her 2007 book,  Who Killed Health Care?  America's $2 Trillion Medical Problme - and the Consumer-Driven Cure.

What is becoming clear,  now that ObamaCare has failed to persuade Americans and doctors of its virtues,  is that cost-sensitive consumers,  faced with unaffordable and rising premiums and deductibles, drive the system.    

If consumers know the transparent price in advance for a bundle of services required for preventing disease, maintaining health, and diagnosing and treating disease, they will intelligently decide how to spend their money.   

Consumers, when properly informed,  are very smart people.  In addition, they want to spend more time with doctors, who they trust more than government or insurers. This state of affairs is more possible with direct pay independent practices than with the current bureaucratic system.

Tweet:  Consumer-driven health care,  as epitomized in direct pay independent practices, is the  logical cost-saving alternative to ObamaCare.

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