Ensuring us that “the state of American healthcare is getting stronger,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius once more extolled the many inherent virtues of ObamaCare and the recent innovations in its administration at a conference in DC on Tuesday. Keep telling yourselves that, White House:
Innovations in care delivery and President Obama’s signature health law are transforming American medicine for the better, the top U.S. health official said Tuesday.
In wide-ranging remarks to a medical conference in Washington, D.C., Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius thanked physicians for tolerating the challenges of a changing U.S. healthcare system.
“I understand that the change is not easy,” Sebelius told members of the American Medical Association. “As we transition into an era of integrated, patient-centered care, it’s inevitable that there will be some growing pains. But I do think that moving forward is the only option.”
Patient-centered? ObamaCare and more bureaucratic involvement in the industry may be a lot of things, but they certainly don’t mean that health care is becoming patient-centered. We’re all already well aware of ObamaCare’s many broken promises on the monetary front, including inflated health-care costs and jacked-up insurance prices, but as for the state of American medicine itself… Here’s one of those “growing pains” Sebelius mentioned — currently going on in California, the first state to rush headlong into ObamaCare’s loving arms:
As the state moves to expand healthcare coverage to millions of Californians under President Obama’s healthcare law, it faces a major obstacle: There aren’t enough doctors to treat a crush of newly insured patients.
Some lawmakers want to fill the gap by redefining who can provide healthcare.
They are working on proposals that would allow physician assistants to treat more patients and nurse practitioners to set up independent practices. Pharmacists and optometrists could act as primary care providers, diagnosing and managing some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high-blood pressure.
You read that correctly: To deal with the worsening doctor shortage, they’re considering merely expanding the definition of what a doctor actually is, and lumping certain types of patients together to receive their ACA-covered care from people who aren’t actually doctors. If only we had known it was that simple!
As this thing continues to expand and the doctor shortage worsens, I’d predict that “patient care” is going to become more and more about simply processing everybody in and out of the door as quickly as possible, and less and less about the actual patients.