Policy Expert: Doctors Will Retire Earlier Under Obamacare

Monday, 25 Mar 2013 06:35 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Health insurance premiums will continue to rise and more experienced doctors will retire earlier under Obamacare, the director of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress says.

“Over the next 10 years . . . the U.S. is going to be spending $500 billion more on health care because the law passed,’’ Paul Howard told John Fund on Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.’’

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“Since the law passed, family premiums for employer-provided health insurance have gone up and continue to go up and we expect them to keep going up for the next several years.’’

Howard — also editor of web magazine Medical Progress Today — said some measures Obamacare touts as cost savers, like the creation of accountable care groups, encourage hospital consolidation.

Obamacare: Massive New Rules Revealed for 2013

“And you know what happens in markets where hospitals consolidate?
They buy up doctors’ practices and guess what, hospitals get paid more for Medicare and for the same services when they’re delivered at a physicians’ office.

“So it’s going to be cost increasing across a number of different fronts.’’

Howard also said the new law requires physicians to do more for less.

“Medicare pays about 80 percent of what private insurers do, Medicaid pays even less, about 60 percent of what private insurers do, so we’re asking them to do more, we’re paying them less,’’ he said.

“That trend is encouraging for instance older physicians to retire, it’s encouraging more physicians to throw up their hands.’’

If there is a tiny silver lining to Obamacare, Howard said, it appears to be that health savings accounts will be up and running on schedule next year.

“That should give people at least some protection. They can go into the system, get affordable coverage, and putting more control in the hands of consumers often leads to better care,’’ he said.

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