Obamacare Adds Patients, Loses Doctors

Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 03:09 PM

By Michael Reagan

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The one area where an observer cannot accuse President Obama of failing to show leadership is in connection with his signature program, Obamacare. He began selling the legislation with a series of lies and his followers in the various states are keeping up the bad work.
Where I live "Covered California" has been boasting of low insurance rates and an extensive network of doctors, but neither claim is remotely true.
According to coverage in the Washington Examiner, “An estimated seven out of every 10 physicians in deep-blue California are rebelling against the state's Obamacare health insurance exchange and won't participate, the head of the state's largest medical association said.”
The reason? It’s the “affordable” insurance rates. Covered California makes the rates affordable for the consumer by making participation in the program unaffordable for doctors. Dr. Richard Thorp, president of the California Medical Association, told the Examiner, “We need some recognition that we’re doing a service to the community. But we can’t do it for free. And we can’t do it at a loss. No other business would do that.”
In fact, California pays 30 percent lower than Medicare rates in the rest of the country. For example, in most states a doctor is paid $76 for follow-up doctors' office visits. In California it’s $24. The rate for a tonsillectomy varies from $500 to $700 around the country. In California for the same procedure a surgeon is paid $160, which is less than most of us pay for an automobile tune-up.
A physician would make a better living if he changed careers and specialized in servicing all the Prius vehicles owned by the government healthcare "experts."
Covered California claims there will be plenty of doctors, but the doctors say different. Independent health insurance brokers were reported as saying about 70 percent of the state’s 104,000 doctors are boycotting the exchange. Lisa Folberg, CMA vice president, explained that Covered California bases its doctor participation numbers by including the names of physicians without their permission.
The situation was summed up by Alex Briscoe, who directs the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency: “Enrollment doesn’t mean access, because there aren’t enough doctors to take the low rates of Medicaid. There aren’t enough primary care physicians, period.”
What it does mean is California patients will experience healthcare rationing either by long waits for appointments and in the waiting room; or by simple discouragement. And if I recall rationing was something else Obamacare backers claimed would never happen.
This latest development in the ongoing Obamacare disaster shows once again that you don’t have to be a liar to work for the Obamacare regime, but it certainly helps to improve your chances for promotion.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

© Mike Reagan

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