For those who continue to delude themselves that Obamacare will lead them to the healthcare land of milk and honey, I have some news for you — it’s never going to happen. Critical thinking would lead one to the conclusion that there is no way to add 30 million more people to a system that is already fundamentally broken. There have been many arguments used to sell Obamcare to the public. Much of it has been disingenuous, peddled not by doctors who are on the front line taking care of patients to the best of their ability, but by corporate interests that stand to gain from profits gleaned from the practice of corporate disease-driven medicine, e.g., the pharmaceutical industry, the American Medical Association, AARP, The Hospital Corporation of America, and various unions.
It has become confusing to try to navigate the maze of promises. Here are just a few of the promises which were made, but have already been broken:
Myth#1: There are enough primary care doctors to handle new patients.
Fact: The reality is that there are neither enough primary care doctors nor specialists to take care of the people already in the system. This has been happening in rural areas for years. Now it has become reality in large cities. The alphabet soup of regulations such as HIPPA and OSHA along with the threat of Obamacare looming on the horizon have forced private practitioners to leave medicine, join larger groups or become hospital employees. Each blow has had the effect of decreasing access. Because of this, patients are more likely to seek care from emergency rooms.
Myth # 2: If you like your doctor you can keep him or her under Obamacare.
Fact: In reality because of the dearth of medical doctors, the front line providers have changed. There has been an outsourcing of healthcare to other healthcare providers such as nurses, physician assistants, and foreign trained doctors. If you are lucky enough to see a doctor, it is usually for a very short amount of time. This is only going to get worse when Obamacare is fully implemented and 30 million people are slated to enter the system.
Myth # 3: You will get cheaper, better medical service.
Fact: Overall the quality of healthcare has suffered with smaller community hospitals being bought out by larger hospitals. Larger hospitals have joined to become larger specialty centers, and smaller more cost effective surgery centers have been put out of business because larger hospitals wanted to get rid of the competition, thus insuring that people only have the most expensive choice for healthcare.
Myth # 4: The insurance companies will be brought to heel, no longer able to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions
Fact: The insurance premiums have increased in part because of children being allowed to remain on their parents’ insurance policies. The removal of so many healthy people from the insurance pool increased the risk for the insurance companies, and thereby the cost of premiums for everyone else. The new mandate for birth control will inevitably raise the premium rates for everyone in order for the insurance companies to recoup their increased costs. In fact, there has already been a shift of the cost to the patient in the form of increased premiums, deductibles and co-insurances. Those with pre-existing medical conditions won’t be denied, but they will likely find their premiums to be exorbitant. In addition, access to medical services and medications have been decreased, because the insurance companies have adopted more hurdles such as pre-certification of services in order to delay and deny care.
Myth #5: Electronic medical records will improve care by allowing your health information to be more easily accessed by healthcare professionals
Fact: Electronic medical records are not only shared by health care professionals; the information is also shared with the Department of Health and Human Services.
- It has the potential to have a chilling effect on the doctor patient relationship. When personal information that is protected by health information privacy can be shared with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, it leaves the patient vulnerable. There is the potential for the patient to have his or her personal information used against them (for example, if they try to seek government employment or contracts).
- The safety of the personal information from a potential breach from hacking also leaves a patient vulnerable.
- It puts the government in the powerful position of looking over the doctor’s shoulder. The doctor can be penalized by practicing outside of the strict treatment guidelines that is the basis of Obamacare’s mandated one-size-fits-all medical care (aka Evidence Based Medicine).
Although Obamacare has been sold to the American people as the cure-all for our ailing health care system, it becomes apparent when it is read and evaluated that it is not about medicine….it is about control.