An excellent video and report from my friend Robert Bluey at the Heritage Foundation demonstrates why ObamaCare was exactly the wrong medicine for what actually ails the American health-care system. This dovetails well with my previous post on emergency-room visits and the people most likely to overutilize that delivery of care. Medicare and Medicaid systems are far more broken than the private sector in delivering care and compensating providers — so why did the Democrats expand the former instead of expanding the latter? (via Newsalert)
Because many doctors double as small businessmen, they face the reality of meeting a bottom line in addition to treating patients. Boone figured she had three options: lay off her office manager, drop patients who rely on Medicare or relocate her office.
She didn’t like her options, but didn’t have much of a choice. After months of agonizing over the decision, Boone this month moved her practice to a less expensive office in an older building. It was hardly the ideal outcome, but it allowed her to keep her staff intact and continue treating her Medicare patients.
“I feel a sense of shame; I feel failure because, on some level, I want to provide the very best for my patients and for my employees,” Boone said.
“But it’s getting to the point where the bottom line is coming up and we’re just not able to sustain what we’ve done in the past.”
Boone isn’t alone. Doctors across America are facing the same types of tough choices. An American Medical Association survey of more than 1,000 physicians earlier this year found 68 percent would limit the number of Medicare patients they take if the reimbursement problem wasn’t resolved.
The answer to the question I posed above is rather simple. Democrats didn’t want to fix the real problems of compensation and access, many of which originate with the government, but be seen to fix problems they defined in terms of hypothetical access. Expanding Medicaid means that Democrats can claim to have covered more people. But does that help when providers are dumping Medicaid? Does that cut costs within the system when Medicaid patients are the most likely to overutilize emergency rooms, thanks to the perverse economic outcomes Medicaid creates when clinic providers won’t see them thanks to low reimbursement rates?