Doctors prepare for Obamacare race to the bottom
posted at 8:31 am on October 19, 2013 by Jazz Shaw
Brought to you courtesy of the always intuitive Vodkapundit, Doctors in New York aren’t too sure about signing up the people who somehow make it through the failed internet maze of Obamacare to get on the government health insurance train.
New York doctors are feeling queasy about ObamaCare — and many won’t participate in the new national insurance program because they fear they’ll go broke, The Post has learned.
“ObamaCare is going to send me more patients to see and then cut the payments to provide the care — that’s what’s going to happen,” predicted Donald Moore, a primary-care doctor in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. “I will not accept it.”
Moore claims that President Obama made a big mistake by requiring uninsured residents to obtain medical coverage from for-profit insurers through the ObamaCare health exchanges instead of through public health programs like Medicaid.
Under tremendous pressure to keep costs down and profits up, Moore said he’s concerned that commercial insurers will pay doctors less for patient visits and services than either Medicaid or Medicare.
Let’s be fair here… who could possibly have predicted this? A system which is now signing up a fair – if not large – number of high risk, high usage patients on programs where private providers are relying on a ton of healthy, low cost patients paying into the system. What could go wrong? I know you’re shocked, but these plans which are going to offer little to no cost offset to people of still fairly modest means (read: 40K of income or so) may find them willing to pay the initially small penalty and not participate. So the providers in question will rely on being compensated by private insurance companies who suddenly aren’t seeing the promised income boost. And that’s a formula for what?
Despite a much publicized rollout, many other doctors said they haven’t decided whether to become ObamaCare providers, because they haven’t been notified by insurers or the state about reimbursement rates.
“I have not spoken with anyone who has made a decision to participate in the exchanges. We simply don’t have any information about which we can make a decision,” said Dr. Paul Orloff, president of the New York County Medical Society.
“We have no idea what the reimbursements will be or what the claims-form process will entail.”
Yes, the enthusiasm for the new system is, well, overwhelming, isn’t it? Of course they want to see the impact on the bottom line – they’re small business owners. Government is involved in price fixing and they’d like to see if they can live with the fixed price or not. If any other entity was involved in doing what the government is involved in here, they’d have been arrested.
But hey, when government decides it can make legal for itself what is illegal for you (consider the lottery, for instance) then you know you’re on the fast road to total decline. The sign posts are whipping by so fast, no one can even read them anymore.
When you stop and think about this for the umpteenth time, doctors are looking at a system which is relying on the cost model of a privately run, profit driven industry (the insurance part of it) to pay for something being driven by a not for profit government scheme. And when the government’s anticipated participation levels don’t materialize, either from a lack of interest in a bad deal or the fact that potential customers can’t even access the system, the profits for the insurers don’t show up on their bottom line. Do they suck up the loss or attempt to pass the cost on to the health care providers? That one should be obvious. And if the doctors, who are also private business owners in large part, can’t recoup their own costs to deliver their services, where does the plan go from there?
Let’s all put on our thinking caps and play the Jeopardy music.