Not only has Obamacare raised the price of health insurance, it has become a behemoth imposing further restrictions on care that can, ultimately, amount to no care at all from your doctor. In my most recent column for Accuracy in Media, I detail how the “micro networks,” or “narrow networks,” used by many Obamacare plans are leading to inferior care for some Americans.
Many doctors, quite frankly, don’t want to be in the new system. Last October, “A poll conducted by the New York State Medical Society [found] that 44 percent of MDs said they are not participating in the nation’s new health-care plan,” according to the New York Post. “Another 33 percent say they’re still not sure whether to become ObamaCare providers.” That’s nearly three out of four doctors in my home state who are either not going to participate or are considering not signing up. Last November, the Washington Examiner outlined how this doctor and hospital “rebellion” spans the entire nation.
In addition, Obamacare also has built in incentives for hospitals and doctors to restrict how much care they provide, a recipe for ethical conflicts, as pointed out by Paul Hsieh at Forbes.
In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama championed the beleaguered health care law, saying that “More than 9 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage–9 million.” This number is overblown, as USA Today points out. Not only do the number of Medicaid enrollees dwarf the number of new enrollees buying insurance, but the “Medicaid estimates include renewals, along with new enrollees.” Obama also neglected to mention how many had lost their insurance prior to purchasing it on the exchanges.
At least 3 million Americans not eligible for Medicaid have signed up under the exchanges since January (although the number having paid their premiums is another matter). That’s a lot of people to have not being able to see the doctor. Especially since they were, most likely, accustomed to having insurance that worked for them. The Wall Street Journal estimated, using 2013 numbers, that of the 2.2 million signed up by the end of last year, 65% to 90% already had health insurance.
This debacle will likely weigh heavily on the Democrats in the upcoming 2014 elections, and, according to Politico, some of them believe that Obama is there to save them using executive orders. Others want the law fixed through Congressional revision, but this could bring unwelcome media attention.
“But there are serious political hangups: By putting forward legislation to make targeted modifications, the health care issue will be propelled back into the national spotlight just as many Democrats are trying to run away from the unpopular law and turn the focus back to economic issues,” reports Politico. “To get around that, some Democrats say the focus, for now, should be on finding a package of measures that the White House can quickly implemen —and go around Congress—a tactic Obama vowed to do repeatedly during his State of the Union address, rather than risk a bitter floor fight in which the outcome is far from assured” (emphasis added).
There is already necessary media attention on this issue, and politicians trying to minimize it by playing political games at the expense of the American people demonstrates the poverty of our current situation.
Yet some just don’t seem to accept how radioactive–and damaging–this law is. In his column, “Obama Finally Used His State Of The Union To Tout Obamacare. What Took So Long?” Dan Diamond asks at Forbes, “Why stay away from his signature reform?” I think I’ve demonstrated why.