Friday, April 30, 2010

Siegel: "ObamaCare, Now What?"

In the March 26, 2010 Forbes, Dr. Marc Siegel points out that all the new promised ObamaCare "coverage" won't translate into actual patient care.

Here's an excerpt from "ObamaCare: Now What?":
When many of the real ObamaCare changes finally do take hold beginning in 2013, my patients will find that the world of their medical care will get even worse, not better. Hospital ERs will be even more crowded with the newly insured. Doctors' offices will be swamped.

Beginning in 2013 16 million more people will be eligible for Medicaid, but where will they go for care? I don't accept Medicaid now, because it doesn't pay my office expenses, and I won't accept it then, even if the reimbursements increase slightly for two years. Without a network of specialists to refer Medicaid patients to (specialists fees will not be increased), I won't be able to work with it any more in 2013 than I am now.

In 2014 patients with pre-existing conditions will be able to obtain insurance no matter whether they are working, healthy, or sick. Many will qualify for federal subsidies. But where will this group go for care? My office practice is already full. And I must admit that once the health reform bill takes hold in a few years, if I do have an opening in my overburdened schedule I will be more inclined to see a patient with a single problem rather than a complex patient. Insurance may cover those with multiple pre-existing conditions but this doesn't mean I will be able to take care of them.
(Read the full text of "ObamaCare: Now What?")

Most doctors already understand that "coverage" does not equal "care". The rest of America will learn this lesson soon.

(Via Medical Progress Today.)