Yesterday, the White House cheered the CBO report on ObamaCare, which it said would eliminate 2.3 million full-time-equivalent jobs from the economy, as progress on removing the incentives to remain wage slaves, or something. Disincentivizing work seems to be a rather large feature in ObamaCare — one that includes a lot more physicians than some people have been led to believe, especially in California. Patients showing up in provider offices expecting in-network service have begun getting a rude awakening:
Aliso Viejo resident Danielle Nelson said Anthem Blue Cross promised half a dozen times that her oncologists would be covered under her new policy. She was diagnosed last year with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and discovered a suspicious lump near her jaw in early January.
But when she went to her oncologist’s office, she promptly encountered a bright orange sign saying that Covered California plans are not accepted.
“I’m a complete fan of the Affordable Care Act, but now I can’t sleep at night,” Nelson said. “I can’t imagine this is how President Obama wanted it to happen.”
Nelson isn’t alone:
Maria Berumen, a tax preparer in Downey, was uninsured for years because of preexisting conditions. The 53-year-old was thrilled to find coverage for herself and her husband for $148 a month after qualifying for a big government subsidy.
She jumped at the chance in early January to visit a primary-care doctor for long-running numbness in her arm and shoulder as a result of bone spurs on her spine. The doctor referred her to a specialist, and problems ensued. At least four doctors wouldn’t accept her health plan — even though the state exchange website and her insurer, Health Net Inc., list them as part of her HMO network.
“It’s a phantom network,” Berumen said.
It was no surprise to her family doctor, Ragaa Iskarous. She has run into this problem repeatedly with other patients in the last month, the doctor said. “This is really driving us crazy.”
Maybe some of these doctors also wanted time to become artists, dancers, and cowboy poets, eh? At the very least, they’re not interested in getting locked into systems where reimbursements don’t cover their costs. The only people that should be surprised by the incompetence, dishonesty, and disincentives are those who truly bought the utopian idea that central control and removal of normal market incentives would deliver paradise.