Obamacare is robbing patients of their private plans and dumping them into Medicaid, forcing them to accept not only subpar treatment but less access to care.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal today by Jeffrey A. Singer MD, a general surgeon who is also an adjunct scholar at the conservative CATO Institute, Obamacare is resulting in a involuntary shift of patients onto government-run care, establishing at least a beachhead for the long-held liberal dream of fully socialized medicine.
From the piece:
A recent Boston University/Harvard Medical School study suggests that up to 80% of people participating in Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion have been shifted off their private insurance. These patients’ plans—that they liked, and were told they could keep—did not meet Affordable Care Act requirements, and were wiped out. Healthcare.gov offered them Medicaid.
But the irony doesn’t stop there. Even if my patients save money by no longer paying premiums, they suffer in the long run by being trapped in a subpar health-care system. A Medicaid card does not translate into quality medical care. In some cases, it does not translate into medical care at all.
Only 45% of doctors are now accepting new Medicaid patients, according to a recent survey by the health-care company Merritt Hawkins. This number has dropped from 55% in the past five years. In some cities—Dallas and Minneapolis, for example—as few as 23% of doctors are seeing new Medicaid patients. As ObamaCare vastly expands the number of patients on the Medicaid rolls—three million new patients, by last count—this threatens these patients’ well-being.
For some, this will literally be a death sentence:
Medicaid patients were twice as likely to die in the hospital after undergoing major surgery than those on private insurance, according to a 2010 study from the University of Virginia published in the Annals of Surgery. The research also showed that patients who had no insurance at all were 25% less likely than those on Medicaid to have an “in-hospital death,” and that Medicaid patients have the longest stays and highest hospital costs.
How will government solve the problem of too many patients for too few doctors?
Well, Death Panels, for one. The geniuses in the Obama administration, despite their remarkable intellectual prowess and top-school degrees, have still not found a way to eliminate the laws of supply and demand. And so rationing, at least in the public sector, must take place.
Another solution would be forcing doctors to accept Medicaid patients, whether they like it or not. If demand increases, that is, the five-year plan will call for increasing supply. How good will your private plan care be if doctors have less time for you and are making less money?
Will we have plumbers throwing down their wrenches and going to medical school, while the best students, instead of practicing medicine, become attorneys to help companies wade through the growing library of Obamacare regulations?
I guess I wouldn’t mind a plumber doing my colonoscopy.
Finally, there’s the raise taxes option. I don’t know exactly how this would help, but the Left usually tries to throw money at problems and hope it sticks somewhere useful.