Obamacare Will Reform Doctors Out Of Private Practice And Cheapen The Product

Killing Marcus Welby How ObamaCare stifles private practices NYP. 

Obama’s health-care czar, Nancy Ann DeParle, laid bare this financial coercion. Writing recently in the “Annals of Internal Medicine,” she said that “the economic forces put in motion by [the Obama health-care plan] are likely to lead to vertical organization of providers and accelerate physician employment by hospitals and aggregation into larger physician groups.” Physicians, she said, “that accept the challenge will be rewarded in the future payment system” as ObamaCare “reforms” how doctors are paid under Medicare.

The term “reform” is highly suspect.  Medicare is already notoriously known to pay doctors very little.  So little, that many are abandoning the program and not taking Medicare patients at all!  Therefore, whatever payment that somehow will magically be better than current reimbursements, where there is inability to at least break even, is unlikely to encourage doctors to participate in the Obamacare version of Medicare, let alone give them enticement to work with an even leaner Medicare spectrum of covered benefits.       

The Obama plan contains other economic forces that will drive such “vertical integration” in which doctors become employees of hospitals and health plans. For one, under ObamaCare, health plans will see their revenue (premiums) and costs (medical benefits) largely fixed by government regulation. So the only way health plans can improve their profits is by cheapening the product that they provide, in other words, holding down the cost of the health coverage that they offer.

In turn, the only way to cheapen health coverage is to control the medical services consumers can access. The only way to tightly control the use of medical services is to exert more leverage over the doctors who order the tests and treatments. That means health plans will need to maintain tight networks of providers to exert more control over doctors — or else own the physicians outright. So expect to see health plans doing their own “vertical integration” — buying out medical practices, just like hospitals are doing.

The long and the short of it is that Obamacare will clamp down on doctors and essentially force them into networks that will control our care even more than they do today, pay less for it, and ultimately ration our care by limiting choices and options further.   

“‘The doctor will see you… …next year.  National health care means rationed health care.”
Image courtesy of http://www.moonbattery.com/archives/2009/06/more_obamacare.html.


4 responses to “Obamacare Will Reform Doctors Out Of Private Practice And Cheapen The Product

  1. Sad isn’t it? I happen to be extremely fortunate- my primary care doc takes as much time as needed- I never feel rushed. long long ago I remember the family doc coming to our house! House calls- remember those? When docs did not have a million patients?
    Doc and I have talked about ofraudcare- she is apprehensive as are we. How will she be able to take care of us if the govt limits her time with patients?

  2. The government will be capitating payments further. So expect that 59 cent payment for something that costs exponentially more, to cover the time spent with a non-doctor. We won’t be seeing docs anymore. Just assorted other providers (nurses, assistants,…) that will be under the direction of a doc that will be in another office or building. That’s because most of the doctors won’t be able to make a living like that. They will run off to work the counters at McDonald’s. They will make minimum wage which is more than 59 cents an hour, and get health insurance there too, because you know, they receieved a waiver on the types of plans they can offer, unlike for the rest of us working taxpayers. Either that, or they will go work on Wall Street, where they can make bucks without the hassle of the government breathing down their backs all the time. All the while, we the patients will be rationed in the amount and degree of care available. Resurgence of the old saying, “Take two Aspirin and call the govrnment program in the morning,” will probably become popular.

  3. Any time a liberal claims that Obamacare isn’t socialized medicine, I almost laugh. It isn’t socialized… yet. You can see it already, though. When the waivers stop, most employers will drop their coverage. Those with private insurance will see ever-increasing rates. In 2014, those “exchanges” will be the only game in town.
    First, they will be cheap. Tax money will be funneled into it. When half or more of the country is in an exchange or Medicare, the switch will be pulled. Everyone will pay a tax for the Medicare for all (or whatever) system. Sure, you can have private insurance, but doctors will be few and your Universal Medicare taxes will be the same.
    Doctors will leave in droves. The government will squeeze savings out by paying doctors less, or maybe not allowing malpractice suits anymore, not that the government is liable. I know docs who only practice to pay off loans. They will think twice about going into medicine now.
    Obamacare: 20% more patients, 40% less doctors, 100% more misery.

  4. Yes, doctors will become fewer. If lines to see the doctor are long now, just wait until OCouldCareLess really kicks in. Yes, a lot of misery.