Audits and investigations into the effects of ObamaCare from congressional committees, government auditors, advocacy groups, and others.
“Starting on Oct. 1, 2012, Medicare payments for hospitals with high readmission rates for certain conditions, including heart failure, will be reduced. This means Obamacare may actually punish hospitals and physicians for providing better quality care. As Dr. Eiran Z. Gorodeski of the Cleveland Clinic put it, ‘I think that the message to patients and the general public is that they should be wary of seemingly simple measures of quality of care.’ There’s also a message here for lawmakers: health care is too large and complex to expect central planning to yield positive results. Unfortunately, the passage of Obamacare and the recent recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick as Medicare head only move the U.S. further in that direction.”
“The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the PPACA will add 16 million new individuals to Medicaid. And that almost certainly means many, many more emergency room visits. ObamaCare was sold as a way to ease America’s health care burdens. Instead, it looks more and more like its legacy will be to increase the strain on a broken system.”
ObamaCare lets the government define what is or isn’t “preventive care” and thus provided cost-free by insurers. While rulings were previously merely advisory, their increased role will subject them to substantial lobbying pressures, which could lead to politicized decision-making. “Under the new health care overhaul law, insurers will be required to pay fully for services that get an ‘A’ or ‘B’ recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a volunteer group made up of primary care and public health experts. [I]t puts the group in the crosshairs of lobbyists and disease advocates eager to see their top priorities – including routine screening for Alzheimer’s disease, domestic violence, diabetes or HIV – become covered services. ‘It’s a wide-open door for lobbying,’ says Robert Laszewski, a health insurance industry consultant.”
According to surveys, only about a third of Texas primary care doctors accept Medicaid patients, because the government-run insurance program sets very low doctor fees. Over half of the people who will become newly insured because of ObamaCare will be added to Medicaid, which means their insurance will likely not actually allow them access to medical care.
“As events are now unfolding, the Massachusetts plan couldn’t be a more damning indictment of ObamaCare. The state’s universal health-care prototype is growing more dysfunctional by the day, which is the inevitable result of a health system dominated by politics.”
Those on Medicaid are more likely than the uninsured to visit the emergency room. Given that ObamaCare assumes substantial cost savings from reduced ER visits after people who were previously uninsured become covered by Medicaid, its cost increases will likely be substantially higher than anticipated by the Administration.
The only medical doctors in the Senate, John Barrasso (R-WY) and Tom Coburn (R-OK,) released “Bad Medicine,” a report on the 100th day of ObamaCare. It highlights the hidden costs and problems with the bill. “One of the most startling assertions in the Coburn/Barrasso report – which was obtained ahead of its release by The Daily Caller – is that nearly 100 million Americans will lose their current form of health insurance and will be required to obtain more expensive plans. One of the president’s most constant refrains in selling his health bill was that if Americans liked what they had, they could keep it.”
Emergency room visits in Massachusetts have skyrocketed since their health care system was changed in 2006. “[E]xpanded coverage may have contributed to the rise in emergency room visits, as newly insured residents entered the health care system and could not find a primary care doctor or get a last-minute appointment with their physician.” ObamaCare will create similar results nationally, as its massive coverage expansion will exacerbate the existing doctor shortages.
As a doctor writes, a financial tsunami is on the way for everyone in the path of ObamaCare, and the overhaul’s squeezing of doctors, hospitals, and insurers would likely put America on the path towards a government-controlled health-care system and the decreased quality and availability of care that comes with it.
In a dramatic move blamed in part on “health-care reform requirements” and described as being “as much a move to address what’s coming as what’s already occurred,” 1,500 hospital workers will be laid off, as a major Pittsburgh hospital closes its emergency department and cuts its beds from 505 to 202 — in what will rank among the largest round of layoffs in the region, in any industry, since the layoffs of Pittsburgh steel workers.