Doctors Not Getting Enough Money Out of Obamacare
Uh oh. You know something is awry when the nation’s leading liberal news outlets are starting to abandon ship. In the same week that the New York Times ran a feature exposing Obamacare as too complicated and expensive for many, NPR runs a story about doctors who can’t afford to accept Obamacare customers.
In the article, they talk to several Connecticut physicians who complain that Obamacare reimbursements are somewhere in the neighborhood of Medicare, a rate that simply won’t keep the doors open. This, of course, is not a new concern. Opponents of the law were hammering that same point back when the law was still in its infancy. Of course, doctors don’t make up enough of the populace to make them worthy of political pandering, and this is an administration that hates doctors anyway. The law went through. Now we’re starting to see its deleterious effects not just to businesses forced to comply with mandates…not just with customers who can’t figure out what’s going on…but with doctors who are going to turn patients away if they can’t get a livable wage out of the deal.
The dilemma is as simple as it is unsolvable: you must either raise premiums on customers or you must lower reimbursement rates for doctors. Do the first, and you risk having people drop coverage. That, of course, is exactly what the whole Affordable Care Act was intended to prevent. Do the second, and you’ll have millions of Americans covered by plans that won’t let them see a doctor. They may be covered in the case of an emergency, but Obama has stated many times that he wants people to stop going to the ER for every headache they get. If no doctors in their plan will let them make an appointment, though, that’s the only option they’ll have.
Florida, meanwhile, could be seeing double-digit premium hikes next year. Reported by the Miami Herald:
Floridians who buy health insurance on the individual market for next year will face an average increase of 13.2 percent in their monthly premiums, according to rate proposals unveiled Monday by the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation.
Of course, the answer on the left is that tax subsidies will make up the difference if premium rates have to be hiked around the country. The perfect solution! Doctors get paid more, patients pay less, and everyone’s happy. Unfortunately, there is a very good chance that those subsidies will prove to be illegal in most states. If that really is the end result for states relying on the federal exchange, we could be close to seeing the end of this healthcare nightmare.
That’s not the way NPR sees it, of course. They end their article with the following quip:
The experience of these doctors is a good reminder that the Affordable Care Act is more than a thought exercise in health care. It’s happening.
Oh, we know. The question is who – other than Democrat politicians – is really happy about it?