STUMP » Articles » Obamacare Watch: 6 Feb 2014 — Good Luck With Getting Care. That Will Be $5K » 6 February 2014, 10:48

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Obamacare Watch: 6 Feb 2014 — Good Luck With Getting Care. That Will Be $5K  


6 February 2014, 10:48

I’m ignoring the CBO report, because: 1. anybody could have told you that people will take advantage of subsidies and that with the way subsidies are calculated, it’s giving lots of people incentive to reduce work and 2. I think their projections are crap anyway.

I would like a compare/contrast of a projection they made in the past against what unfolded, even over a relatively short, 3-year period.

So I have nothing to say about that. Go here or here if you want to talk about such things.

Let’s talk about actually getting care under Obamacare, as opposed to paying premiums and theoretically being covered.

This is what is happening in California:

After overcoming website glitches and long waits to get Obamacare, some patients are now running into frustrating new roadblocks at the doctor’s office.

A month into the most sweeping changes to healthcare in half a century, people are having trouble finding doctors at all, getting faulty information on which ones are covered and receiving little help from insurers swamped by new business.


Aliso Viejo resident Danielle Nelson said Anthem Blue Cross promised half a dozen times that her oncologists would be covered under her new policy. She was diagnosed last year with non Hodgkin’s lymphoma and discovered a suspicious lump near her jaw in early January.

But when she went to her oncologist’s office, she promptly encountered a bright orange sign saying that Covered California plans are not accepted.

“I’m a complete fan of the Affordable Care Act, but now I can’t sleep at night,” Nelson said. “I can’t imagine this is how President Obama wanted it to happen.”

Yes, I’m sure Obama wishes the legislation with his name slapped on it, though he had precious little to do with passing it, were not an abject failure.

But let’s be serious: Obama is far from a deep-thinker who can see the consequences of anything, no matter how obvious the logic is. He could challenge the Underpants Gnomes for poor strategic thinking.

In my prior post, I pointed out that “states/HHS are looking at forcing insurers to cover broader networks”: (currently defunct link) and the already optimistically-priced Obamacare plans with broad exchanges cost at least 25% more than those with narrow networks.

Thing is, you can force the insurers to try to make broader networks, but then you can’t make the doctors or other care providers to go along with it. And even if every doctor were forced to accept Obamacare… well, check this out:

There are two reasons patients will be turned away: one that President Barack Obama hid, and one that he lied about. The first is that there is a shortage of doctors. There simply are not enough doctors (or nurses) to see a population of patients that grows bigger, suddenly, by some 30 million people (in theory). The second reason: insurance companies have to cut certain doctors and hospitals out of their plans in order to keep prices within a reasonable range while still covering all the things the law requires. So you can’t necessarily “keep your doctor.”


As the Washington Examiner and Breitbart News reported last December, as many as 70% of California doctors will not participate in Obamacare. That is a reality many patients are discovering as they lose insurance policies they once enjoyed and discover that the doctors in their new Covered California policies are little more than “phantom networks.” They are victims of Obamacare’s cost controls–and they are finding out “what’s in it.”

But for now, we have an out: paying doctors directly without any insurers or Obamacare involved. That’s the solution some Democrats are touting:

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) isn’t too concerned about New Hampshire residents who are losing access to the doctors they had and liked. Instead of keeping her August 2009 promise that Obamacare would let her constituents “keep their doctor and their insurance plan,” she now says that they’ll just have to pay more.


Outside of trying to get the Obama Administration to pressure Anthem, Shaheen’s answer to the problem is that people who want to keep their doctor will just have to pay more.

“So at least for people who are willing to pay more, that they have that option of going to their doctor and hospital no matter what their insurer does, and I think this is one of the things we’re hoping we can get some attention to because it’s clearly still an issue,” said Shaheen. “It’s an issue for people whose hospitals in their communities have been excluded from the network, and I think we need to do whatever we can to try and fix that.”

…and then with these broader networks they can also pay more.

For something that they’re being forced to buy.



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