A new survey by the Commonwealth Fund reveals that over a third of Americans say they don't have access to health care because of cost or insurance red tape. The idea that the Affordable Care Act will somehow make this situation better is the biggest ObamaCare lie of all.
For a doctor like me, it looks like a Ponzi scheme, where healthy young people pay exorbitant premiums to help cover older patients with chronic illnesses, and many don’t get the actual health care they need.
Angela is a 27-year-old PR executive who is rebelling against ObamaCare. She opted for a $105 per month plan with AMG Medical, which covers annual exams and urgent care. She is willing to pay the ObamaCare penalty. She will still save money.
The biggest ObamaCare lie is NOT that you can keep your doctor or your insurance plan, it is that more health insurance automatically means more health care.
“Got insurance?” the government agent asks? Remember the popular “Got milk?” ads. If you hear that something is good for you often enough, you may start to believe it.
If your car breaks, which is more important, a good repair shop nearby or car insurance that may or may not cover the repair?
How come the American consumer will gladly pay out of pocket for an oil change or tune-up to keep the car engine going, but not for a blood pressure and cholesterol check on the human engine?
The answer is fear. We are afraid of losing our good health, and have been falsely taught that insurance is our only protection.
The truth is that health insurance has always been a bureaucratic obstacle course for doctors; it piles on the paperwork, restricting us while paying us less to do more.
The health insurance culture that has grown up in America is now expanding to cover all with pre-existing conditions. But this creates more questions than it answers.
For example: Shouldn’t patients be penalized for being self-destructive and rewarded for losing weight and exercising?
Won’t shrinking Health Savings Accounts -- as ObamaCare is designed to do -- lead to less personal responsibility and awareness of actual health care costs?
Won’t covering everyone for daily health care needs empty the insurance coffers of monies that could be used to cover the more personalized genetic technological treatments of the future?
My patient Steve believes the health insurance myth. He came to my office for a routine physical this past week after his insurance policy had been cancelled because his wife is changing employers. His family’s new ObamaCare-regulated policy will be effective in January and he will pay a higher premium.
In the meantime, he wouldn’t pay $100 for the visit that day and left. He felt that having insurance was essential to plugging in for my services, and without it he was medically naked.
ObamaCare is extending the kind of low co-pay, low deductible HMO-style insurance where patients can see a doctor without restrictions or justifications.
Of course there are plenty of restrictions on the tests I can order if you’re sick. These restrictions are sure to increase as the new Independent Medicare Advisory Board begins to issue recommendations in 2014, and the private insurers follow suit.
Meanwhile, many patients have too many doctors; a pulmonologist sees you for your asthma, a cardiologist tracks your blood pressure, and a gastroenterologist treats your heartburn. You come to me just to report how they are all treating you. I don’t know that your visit is unnecessary until you are already in my examination room.
ObamaCare-type insurance clogs our offices so we don’t have time to see the patients who really need us.
Quality of care medicine is on the decline.
Under Romney-care, an ObamaCare prototype, a 2013 survey from Massachusetts Medical Society revealed that less than half of internists and family practitioners are taking new patients. This is because they are filled to the brim with patients who often don’t need to be there.
President Obama has tattooed his initials into our health care system. Luckily there is still time for major surgery.
Marc Siegel, M.D. is a professor of medicine and medical director of Doctor Radio at NYU Langone Medical Center. He has been a medical analyst and reporter for Fox News since 2008.