Video: If you like your doctor …

posted at 10:41 am on January 22, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Last year, Politifact called “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” the Lie of the Year for 2013, after having defended Barack Obama’s promise for two years. Perhaps in 2014, they might consider the second part of Obama’s promise a candidate in 2014. The second part, where Obama promised that “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” is proving just as false:

“Beth Kramer says she’s running out of options. And out of time,” says the local reporter.

“The disabled mother of two says she’s out of medication for an autoimmune disease, she’s run out of antibiotics for a painful internal infection, and the health plan she’s paid for through the Affordable Care Act keeps sending her to doctors who say they can’t treat her because they won’t take her insurance.”

“I’m out of medication,” says Kramer. “I’m sitting here with an infection and I’m out of antibiotics and the symptoms are coming back. And I have no idea when I can go to a doctor or where.”

Says the reporter, “Kramer signed up for health care under the Affordable Care Act through Covered California, the agency that is coordinating health care coverage between consumers and health insurance companies in California.”

Oddly, KCBS doesn’t have a story available on its website to highlight Beth Kramer’s woes, so Daniel Halper’s catch at the Weekly Standard is most useful. They do have one that reports on the demographics of Covered California sign-ups, which look pretty worrisome.  Officials claim to be optimistic, but perhaps California insurers won’t share that outlook:

Officials with California’s health insurance exchange Tuesday said about 625,000 people have signed up for an individual or family policy under the federal health care reforms, but enrollments for Latinos and younger people continue to lag expectations.

Younger people are crucial for the private insurance market. Insurers need them to balance out the number of older customers, who are more likely to use health services.

About 25 percent of those choosing an insurance plan are in the 18- to 34-year-old group, below the roughly 36 percent that Covered California, as the exchange is called, eventually wants to see.

Unfortunately, Beth Kramer is not alone. WKBN in Ohio reports that hundreds of patients in Ohio have discovered that Medicare Advantage cuts pushed providers out of their networks, and now have to change doctors too:

Hundreds of people in the Mahoning Valley can no longer go to their trusted doctors, and local officials say the Affordable Care Act is to blame.

Doctors from the Mahoning County Medical Association sat down with US Representative Bill Johnson in Canfield Tuesday to discuss their concerns with UnitedHealthcare’s decision to drop local doctors, including the Eye Care Associates practice in Beaver Township, from their Medicare Advantage plans. That means patients either have to change doctors or pay out of their own pockets.

“Now they are facing the choice of switching to another doctor. They are really scared, really scared,” said Dr. H.S. Wang, Eye Care Associates, Beaver Township.

Dr. Sean McGrath, president of the Mahoning County Medical Society, said UnitedHealthcare made similar changes once before, knocking one of the area’s primary urology groups off the Medicare Advantage network. This makes costs higher and care worse for patients.

“It has done so by creating a significant geographic void of covered physicians that requires patients to travel further to receive their care,” said McGrath.

Remember, the “if you like your doctor” promise was specific to people already insured. Obama made that promise to claim that ObamaCare wouldn’t have any impact on existing markets, and would only change circumstances for the uninsured. In 2014, as more and more people seek treatment, this lie will get bigger and bigger. Perhaps Politifact will notice it, too.

Update: Hot Air reader David notes that I’m incorrect in my summation:

Please let Ed know that the end of the article is incorrect. ObamaCare didn’t ever promise to not have any impact on existing markets. They promised that people who already had insurance would see an average of $2500 a year decrease which hasn’t happened. Please expose all their lies.

Great point. Will Politifact ever notice that?


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Cheryl is the broad who lives with me. She’s a brittle diabetic. She lost one doctor already. She expects to lose more.

Lanceman on January 22, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Somewhere some place a progressive wonk is happy money might be saved by this women’s suffering.

rob verdi on January 22, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Celebrated on “if you like your childless life, you can keep your childless life” day..

hillsoftx on January 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Someone needs to be impeached for murder.

Shy Guy on January 22, 2014 at 10:50 AM

“It has done so by creating a significant geographic void of covered physicians that requires patients to travel further to receive their care,” said McGrath.

Serves them right for not living in places where Obama won the election. Picking winners and losers is becoming personal.

Happy Nomad on January 22, 2014 at 10:51 AM

If you hate your President you can _____________________!

Deano1952 on January 22, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Hey, sometimes it might not be worth the resources. She may just have to take a pill to make her remaining time as comfortable as possible.

I immediately get a feeling of dread when reading stories like this. How long before the government steps in on these poor peoples behalves, and either forces doctors to take the insurance they do have or just outright forces them to treat certain people without any payment?

JAGonzo on January 22, 2014 at 10:58 AM

“The disabled mother of two says she’s out of medication for an autoimmune disease, she’s run out of antibiotics for a painful internal infection, and the health plan she’s paid for through the Affordable Care Act keeps sending her to doctors who say they can’t treat her because they won’t take her insurance.”

“I’m out of medication,” says Kramer. “I’m sitting here with an infection and I’m out of antibiotics and the symptoms are coming back. And I have no idea when I can go to a doctor or where.”

…guess they don’t need ‘death panels’….after all!

KOOLAID2 on January 22, 2014 at 10:59 AM

I’m sure the Emperor is happy to have the plebs grovelling for the crumbs of his scraps of his great feast.

Defenestratus on January 22, 2014 at 11:00 AM

I know I’m a dummy, but can someone explain to me how single-payer is supposed to be better?

The way I see it, we’re all supposed to pay for insurance under Obamacare. Those who don’t pay taxes won’t, those who do will be forced to. I don’t see that changing under a single-payer system.

Someone will still have to administer processing of healthcare payments so even if you fire all those folks working for insurance companies, the feds will have to hire a ton more -at a much higher compensation package- to replace them. I don’t see a savings there.

The amount of care and level of care for people isn’t going to change, so since costs directly related to treatment won’t decrease, healthcare costs to the consumer won’t decrease either. Unless…

By the power of the fed, treatment costs are mandated. Which will mean either decreased payouts to doctors and pharmas and hospitals and medical equipment developers, or curtailing of the amount or level of treatment available, or both.

So when I see this:

From Young, Healthy and Scraping By:

“I’ve been off my parents insurance for 8 years. I’ve been to the doctor less than 5 times in those years, for a total cost of under $500. It’s hard for me to justify spending almost $3800 a year on a bronze plan when that’s more than 7 times what I’ve paid over the last 8 years! And even spending that much, I’ve still got a large deductible to cover.

I know I’m not getting any younger, but man, these numbers are hard to swallow, much less get excited about!

As I stated before, I’m a supporter of the law. I voted for Obama with pride and I would again. … I just don’t believe this is the final solution, rather, only the first step.”

I wonder why this guy thinks things will be better for him under single-payer. He’ll pay just as much for less care. And he’s aging. As we all are.

Am I missing something?

BKeyser on January 22, 2014 at 11:06 AM

It needs to be a requirement that every time a story like this surfaces, we know who the person voted for in the last two presidential elections…

PatriotRider on January 22, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Look Christie…. Look McDonnell
-lsm

cmsinaz on January 22, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Am I missing something?

BKeyser on January 22, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Yes…he is a moron…

PatriotRider on January 22, 2014 at 11:09 AM

A small foretaste of single-payer, where everybody is in the charity ward.

Drained Brain on January 22, 2014 at 11:10 AM

It needs to be a requirement that every time a story like this surfaces, we know who the person voted for in the last two presidential elections…
PatriotRider on January 22, 2014 at 11:07 AM

That’s what I was scanning for, but you sort of know.

Marcus on January 22, 2014 at 11:10 AM

“Beth Kramer says she’s running out of options. And out of time,” says the local reporter.

Cheer up Beth. You now have access to free contraceptives!

PackerBronco on January 22, 2014 at 11:13 AM

When Palin brought up death panels, little did she know…

PatriotRider on January 22, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Beth, who did you vote for???…

PatriotRider on January 22, 2014 at 11:14 AM

As I stated before, I’m a supporter of the law. I voted for Obama with pride and I would again. … I just don’t believe this is the final solution, rather, only the first step.”

Socialists are strong believers in the Final Solution.

PackerBronco on January 22, 2014 at 11:14 AM

PatriotRider on January 22, 2014 at 11:09 AM

LOL Yeah, that part I knew. ;)

BKeyser on January 22, 2014 at 11:14 AM

and then hotair will run out of material to bash the President on…that’s what you’re really afraid of, right?

nonpartisan on November 19, 2013 at 4:47 PM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.

libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Chris of Rights on January 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM

I wonder why this guy thinks things will be better for him under single-payer. He’ll pay just as much for less care. And he’s aging. As we all are.

Am I missing something?

BKeyser on January 22, 2014 at 11:06 AM

The advantage (for him) of single payer is that he won’t know he’s paying more, as it’ll just be part of that whole tax bill he’ll deal with on April 15.

Plus, in many cases it might be less, because he won’t foot the bill, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will. Deficit spending will solve all his problems.

Yeah, the bill will still be $3800 a year for that bronze plan. But he’ll only pay $500. The currently unborn will pay the rest. And pay. And pay. And pay.

Chris of Rights on January 22, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Time for executive pen action. Pass down an edict from the president making it illegal to refuse ACA people. Force them providers to care for people who need free healthcare. And pass down another edict from on high threatening visits from the FBI to young people who do not fork over some premium money. Yes, the FBI is going to shakedown every young person who is not signed up.

jake49 on January 22, 2014 at 11:23 AM

This horse (Obamacare) has died, isn’t it time we dismount and quit trying to make it run?

hip shot on January 22, 2014 at 11:23 AM

How long before the government steps in on these poor peoples behalves, and either forces doctors to take the insurance they do have or just outright forces them to treat certain people without any payment?

JAGonzo on January 22, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Yes! more force, please. Don’t you just love freedom?

beselfish on January 22, 2014 at 11:23 AM

I’ve believed for weeks that the GOP has missed a talking point that the stress and uncertainty of people not knowing whether they have insurance, whether they have a doctor, whether they can get medicine, was UNDERMINING their health in REAL TIME.

People with high blood pressure, for example, don’t generally benefit from needlessly imposed added worry and stress.

matthew8787 on January 22, 2014 at 11:24 AM

As predicted, unfortunately. For every one of these people we know about, how many hundreds and thousands out here in flyover country are in the same boat?

I’ve said it for months. People with serious illnesses and conditions that require regular treatment to survive are losing their insurance or their doctors. Some will not be able to replace their insurance, others will not be able to replace their doctors.

As a direct result of Obamacare, some of these people will suffer.

As a direct result of Obamacare, some of these people will die.

I don’t have words to express my contempt and disgust for the corrupt, incompetent and irresponsible political scum who inflicted this monstrous debacle on us. Every single congressman or Senator who voted for Obamacare will have the blood of innocents on their hands. They may be able to live with themselves, but as the death toll rises the nation will not be forgiving.

novaculus on January 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM

My understanding of Covered California is that they built up their lists of doctors who would accept their insurance BEFORE deciding that they would pay all doctors at the same rate as Medicaid — which I believe is officially the worst-paying insurance in the world.

So they have a long list of doctors who supposedly would accept the insurance, but are not interested in Medicaid-type reimbursements.

So yes, she’s probably going to lots of doctors who are on the list as accepting Covered California — but won’t.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 22, 2014 at 11:26 AM

A strong sign that Covered California is in trouble is the fact that insurers have postponed the day of first-payment of premiums to Jan 31. If the money were rolling in, they wouldn’t have to do that. It suggests that people are having sticker shock and don’t want to pay for the CC plans.

HakerA on January 22, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Serves them right for not living in places where Obama won the election. Picking winners and losers is becoming personal.

Happy Nomad on January 22, 2014 at 10:51 AM

An interesting observation.

Nothing colors the map blue vs. red moreso than population density.

If one is from rural America, don’t be expecting an Obama-Cares shout out anytime soon.

Carnac on January 22, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Much more pain and suffering to come from the Obamacare mega disaster…

mnjg on January 22, 2014 at 11:32 AM

How long before the government steps in on these poor peoples behalves, and either forces doctors to take the insurance they do have or just outright forces them to treat certain people without any payment?

JAGonzo on January 22, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Which will certainly encourage people to enter into the medical profession said No One Ever.

The exodus from the medical profession is the other death spiral.

PackerBronco on January 22, 2014 at 11:35 AM

I loathe these people. To enact their glorious socialist vision, real people are going to die. Real people are going to lose their vision. Real people are going to have lifelong complications. Real people are going to not be able to have children because the doctors that can help them will be hours away. Loathe is too soft of a word.

cptacek on January 22, 2014 at 11:37 AM

ObamaCull

That’s what it is. Ayers must be proud of his protege.

Christien on January 22, 2014 at 11:37 AM

“It has done so by creating a significant geographic void of covered physicians that requires patients to travel further to receive their care,” said McGrath.

It is that way now. The closest in-network oral surgeon for me is 3 1/2 hours away, and I have an employer sponsored BCBS plan.

cptacek on January 22, 2014 at 11:38 AM

” I voted for Obama with pride and I would again. … I just don’t believe this is the final solution, rather, only the first step.”

Listen, catch up. We are supposed to vote for own degraded standard of living, riddance of the surplus population, and elevation of the Know-Betters. Too many of you white Europeans, and it’s better to tear it down and build heaven on earth without all that Western Civ sticking in our collective memory. Now, get on the light rail and hand ten friends the soy-ink flyers, and be sure to recycle on your way to the Community Composter. It should just be Mother Earth, relieved of the Human Disease, except for us Know-Betters.

It is the final solution, but there is no America to the rescue this time, is there? My pharmacy patients pay dozens of times their old copays and act like sheep…”Oh, well, what can you do?” I just say, “Vote…”

winoceros on January 22, 2014 at 11:39 AM

What are you all complaining about? This isn’t real – it’s just an anecdote. The OFA approved statistics say everything is hunky-dory. /libenslaveanddie/verbaldouche/brayam/partisanhack

dentarthurdent on January 22, 2014 at 11:43 AM

You know what isn’t news?

That Obama told another lie…

That is the sad part, people will just shake their head, and keep working.

Because that is all we can do, our Republican leaders are too timid to attack, to launch a real attack on this farce. And more than likely, they won’t because they are benefiting from this disaster.

After all, didn’t they go along with the exception?

The streets of re-election are paved with the money from this fiasco…

right2bright on January 22, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Just think of it as another form of late term abortion, this will be in the xx trimester. Brought tho you by the atheist party.

phatfawzi on January 22, 2014 at 11:45 AM

The drug prices alone and the pay-up-front doctor visits are taking household budgets apart. Food or insulin? Doctors, unlike pharmacies, cannot process claims real-time. Advance payment is their only protection against a deductible and unpaid bills. Funny, they know Medicaid and medicare patients have no deductible, generally, so they know to just let those in without paying…as designed by the Single-Payer Slaughterers.

winoceros on January 22, 2014 at 11:49 AM

It’s still January. By October, multiply this woman’s story by tens of thousands.

Somebody remind me….is there an election this year?

ElectricPhase on January 22, 2014 at 11:49 AM

They told me that if I voted for Romney, people would be thrown off their health insurance plans – and they was right!

Akzed on January 22, 2014 at 11:59 AM

“Beth Kramer says she’s running out of options. And out of time,”

Sounds like Beth could soon be running to the emergency room.

The perfectly predictable fit is hitting the shan.

lynncgb on January 22, 2014 at 11:59 AM

What will she do when the bills for all those credit cards she didn’t apply for come in?

Identity thieves must be in permanent orgasm about now.

dogsoldier on January 22, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Tough toenails….the ACA is for the good of the nation Democratic Party.

Deafdog on January 22, 2014 at 12:17 PM

“…because they won’t take her insurance.”

Oh. So she’s not yet reached the point in the process where she learns the definition of ‘out-of-pocket expenses’ and ‘deductibles’.

Tsar of Earth on January 22, 2014 at 12:19 PM

It’s still January. By October, multiply this woman’s story by tens of thousands.
 
Somebody remind me….is there an election this year?
 
ElectricPhase on January 22, 2014 at 11:49 AM

 
It’s okay. Obama timed the Afghanistan troop deaths withdrawal to cancel them out.

rogerb on January 22, 2014 at 12:23 PM

And the beat goes on. The Democrats do nothing except ignore it, and try to hatch a few more flying squirrels to distract the voters. And the Republicans do nothing except push amnesty because the big money donors want it, even if the people do not. And people talk of a 3rd party, but know history shows it to be a hopeless effort.

It is like winding up a spring, endlessly. Something has got to give. And it will.

tngmv on January 22, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Dear California voters, and new enrollees:
If you like your misery, you can keep your misery.

Because actions have consequences. Enjoy them.

orangemtl on January 22, 2014 at 12:54 PM

“I’m out of medication,” says Kramer…

I’m diabetic and I’m out of medication too. I’m going to the pharmacy today to get my Novolog refill, for the low price of $382 for my two week supply. Have I mentioned that last year it cost $266? And the year before $236? At least it will go towards my employer provided insurance deductible, but I can’t help but believe that ObysmalCare is responsible for the unbelievable price hike of prescription drugs.

NOMOBO on January 22, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Cheryl is the broad who lives with me. She’s a brittle diabetic. She lost one doctor already. She expects to lose more.

Lanceman on January 22, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Cheryl needs to go to medical school so that she can write her own prescriptions. I’m a doctor, but my endocrinologist doesn’t seem to write insulin prescriptions for me that are for more than a couple of months.

Half the time I have to write them for myself as much as I hate to do that. Hey, that gives me an idea. Maybe I’ll start a call in service to write insulin prescriptions for those diabetic patients who, while liking their doctor, couldn’t keep their doctor…..

NOMOBO on January 22, 2014 at 1:15 PM

I also despise everyone involved in imposing Obummercare on us.

Last Friday my husband and I both found out we are losing our doctors next week (different doctors). My husband is losing the neurologist that treats his neuropathy (he was poisoned by toxic metals while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan) and I’m losing the doctor who treats my diabetes. Our insurance did not change (except copays have gone up), we are from a red state and we Did Not vote for Obummer (voted for Romney). My husband’s doctor is closing her practice and my doctor is leaving her practice (have not been able to find out where she is going yet). I really think it is unethical for a doctor to give only 15 days notice that they are closing. Of course both doctors are booked and we are unable to schedule final appointments (along with a whole lot of other patients I am sure). I was already driving two hours each way back to my hometown because of a shortage of good doctors where we live that will take our insurance. We have Tricare (military insurance that pays as poorly as Medicare) so it is very difficult to find doctors. I’m not sure what we are going to do. I have gone to the local walk in clinic to get refills once before but had to wait about 2 and a half hours just to see a doctor.

sherrimae on January 22, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Nomobo,

I just was able to read your comment. I don’t even need insulin yet, just metformin tablets. I would be willing to pay if you start this service. I’m a pharmacist and my husband is more worried about finding me a doctor than one for himself.

How has your practice been affected by Obummercare so far? In pharmacy we are seeing a lot of patients decide not to buy their prescriptions when they find out their new copay is $70 or more.

sherrimae on January 22, 2014 at 1:33 PM

“I’m out of medication,” says Kramer. “I’m sitting here with an infection and I’m out of antibiotics and the symptoms are coming back. And I have no idea when I can go to a doctor or where.”

I’ve heard that the antibiotics that are available for pets/fish, are the same as the antibiotics that humans take – only you can buy them without a prescription. Soon we’ll be eating pet food and taking pet meds. What a great country – thanks Obamacare!

Hill60 on January 22, 2014 at 1:51 PM

ObaMeDontCare

roux on January 22, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Soon we’ll be eating pet food and taking pet meds. What a great country – thanks Obamacare!

Hill60 on January 22, 2014 at 1:51 PM

There are already people living on catfood. Poor elderly people. They eat the wet stuff.

dogsoldier on January 22, 2014 at 2:53 PM

There are already people living on catfood. Poor elderly people. They eat the wet stuff.

dogsoldier on January 22, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Which is what FDR promised to eliminate when he conned the country into the Social Security program.

AesopFan on January 23, 2014 at 12:06 AM