September 30, 2010
ObamaCare's Redistribution of Health
New projections from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid paint a stark picture of the impact of the ObamaCare law: We're in for a massive redistribution of health resources, says Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York.
President Obama pledged to reduce the number of uninsured by making health plans affordable -- but that's not how his law actually does it. Rather, it loosens Medicaid eligibility by raising the income ceiling and barring asset tests.
* In 2014, a staggering 85.2 million people -- 31 percent of all nonelderly Americans -- will be on Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
* This accounts for the majority of those who'd gain health coverage.
* Amazingly, only 3 percent more people will have private insurance.
The new law also stipulates that Medicaid recipients get the same benefits that employers are required to provide workers, diminishing the incentive to work. Why stick it out on the job if the benefits are just as good in Medicaid? asks McCaughey.
To expand Medicaid, the Obama law eviscerates Medicare.
* The new projections show that in 2019, for example, ObamaCare cuts Medicare funding by $86.4 billion -- which works out to $1,428 less for each elderly patient that year.
* Baby boomers will face difficulties accessing care that seniors now get.
* Richard Foster, chief actuary for Medicare, has spoken with brave bluntness about the possible impact, warning that some hospitals might stop taking Medicare patients.
Source: Betsy McCaughey, "ObamaCare's Redistribution of Health," New York Post, September 27, 2010.
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They all have one thing in common–they are all isolated from day to day patient care; and therefore, are insulated from the real practice of the art of medicine. It makes it easy to see patients as a cost center to be controlled. With views of members like Dr Emanuel, who champions the complete-lives system, it is hard to ignore the probability that senior citizens, those with chronic illness, and the very young will be on the outside looking in. This council is another example of the people of this country being told by the government that it knows what is best for us.
The framework set up by the stimulus bill merely set the stage for the implementation found in the healthcare reform bill. How can the government get doctors to participate in Obamacare thereby a) willingly destroying the doctor patient relationship, and b) betraying their Hippocratic Oath to provide treatments that they deem to be effective? Simple – fear and intimidation.
A second board created by the stimulus bill called The National Coordinator for Health Information Technology “will determine treatment at the time and place of care”. They are charged with deciding the course of treatment for the diagnosis given by the doctor. Now it becomes obvious why there has been a big push towards the implementation of universal electronic medical record use. It becomes a tool to completely control the physician and the patient. Those physicians and hospitals that choose to practice individualized patient care in consultation with their patients will be punished because they are not “meaningful users of the system over time.” Beginning January 1, 2013 penalties for doing the right thing for a patient will cost the doctor $100,000 for the first offense and jail for the second offense. This will have a chilling effect and may be the straw that completely breaks the foundation of good medicine – the doctor patient relationship.
46% of physiciansin a survey by The New England Journal of Medicine stated that they would leave the practice of medicine if Obamacare was implemented. This will only further decrease the quality of healthcare when the 30 million more people enter the system. Maybe that’s why there is a big push in the healthcare bill to increase the number of other providers such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners. There is no question that rationing will become our future. If you add 30 million more people into a system with fewer resources how could you possibly avoid rationing? Perhaps those members of Congress who passed this nightmare don’t care since they made sure that it wouldn’t apply to them.