Who can forget the now infamous words of President Barrack Obama when he said “no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.” Now, as we all know, those words were proven a fallacy, and as Obamacare is rolled out around the country, in all of its glitch filled glory, many Americans are finding out just how false those statements were as their insurance plans are suddenly no longer available.
Not only will many (most) Americans not be able to keep their current health insurance plans, many Americans won’t even be able to see the same doctor. The reason for this is that many insurance companies are looking for ways to keep premiums down in spite of the plethora of new regulations. According to the New York Times, one way these companies are doing this is by limiting the number of doctor and hospital choices people are able to have on certain plans. Let’s say Mr. Smith purchased a Bronze Plan through the Obamacare exchanges and wants to go see Dr. A at Regional Hospital in Whoville, but the insurance company has decided that they no longer want to cover Dr. A under the Bronze plan. The only way Mr. Smith will be able to see Dr. A is if he bumps up his plan to the Gold or Platinum plan that is offered, or in some cases, Dr. A won’t be covered at all, and Mr. Smith will be required to pay out-of-pocket.
In many cases, it will be the latter because many doctors will refuse to take the penance that is being offered to them by insurance companies so Dr. A will no longer be included in any insurance network. What happens then? If Mr. Smith cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket to go see Dr. A and Dr. A is not willing or able to cover his costs from the amount the insurance companies are willing to pay – what happens? Well, one of two things could happen; one, Dr. A gives up and closes his practice, or two, if he is a sought after physician, he will go to a cash-only practice that caters to wealthy patients who are willing to pay out-of-pocket for his services.
In some parts of Florida, this is already happening. I recently spoke with a midwife, who is a friend of mine, and I asked her how Obamacare is going to affect her. She told me that some insurance companies have already started cutting their pay-outs and in some cases these insurance companies are paying less than Medicaid. She said that she isn’t even able to cover her costs with the money that these insurance companies are paying her. She, personally, isn’t too worried about the effects of Obamacare because she said that if a mom wants to have a home-birth she will find a way to pay for it – even if my friend decides to stop taking insurance under the new terms of Obamacare.
Unfortunately, when it comes to other types of physicians and medical services this might not be the case. Many doctors will refuse to take the small pay-outs the insurance companies are offering them, and patients, who cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket, will simply go to another doctor who is willing to accept the tiny pay-out. When this happens it will cause an even greater imbalance in the equilibrium between the haves and the have not’s. Wealthy patients who can afford to pay out-of-pocket for their doctors will continue to receive the finest health care in the world – while the poor and middle-class patients will have their health care rationed between the few remaining doctors who are willing to work for little-to-no pay.
Don’t think Obamacare will cause a rationing of doctors and medical services? According to a survey published last year, 83% of doctors said they have considered quitting the medical field because of the implementation of Obamacare. 83%!
Of course, President Obama and the Democrats know that once they get people signed up under the Obamacare exchanges and start handing out subsidies – people will be hooked. By the time the American people realize that the care that they are receiving is sub-par – it will be too late because they will be addicted to the “free” money that the government is so benevolently giving them to cover the cost of their health-insurance premiums.
America is dutifully drinking the Kool-aid that the media and President Obama are serving them – too bad this time it’s deadly.