American Elephants

Consequences? You Ain’t Seen Nuthin Yet! by The Elephant's Child

Speaking of unintended consequences…An IBD/TIPP poll sent out in August of 2009 to 1,376 practicing physicians found four out of every nine doctors saying that they would “consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement” if Congress passed what has become known as Obama Care.  Investors said “That means as many as 360,000 physicians have plans to be doing something other than treating the growing number of patients in this country.”

More physicians ran for Congress this last election than every before.  And they ran for legislatures as well.  The doctors also said in that August 2009 poll that 67% to 22% with 11% not responding that they expected fewer students to apply for medical school in the future if the Democrat plan became law.  71% of doctors were doubtful that the government would be able to cover the 47 million uninsured with better care at lower cost.  Sixty percent thought the Democrats’ plan would strip drug companies of the incentives they need to make lifesaving pharmaceuticals, and 65% thought the bill would mean lower-quality care for seniors.

The critics went after the IBD/TIPP poll  — “not credible,” “shabby,” “garbage”, “partisan.”  Democrats didn’t like the criticism.

Now a new poll from Merritt Hawkins for the Physicians Foundation of 2,379 doctors completed in August found that 40% of doctors said they would retire, seek a nonclinical job in health care, or seek a job or business unrelated to health care over the next three years as ObamaCare is phased in.  74% said they would make significant changes in their practices in the next 3 years., such as working part-time, closing practices to new patients, or switching to a cash or concierge practice.

There’s much more: Doctors are unhappy, angry and feel that their occupations and relationships with their patients were simply not represented.  Democrats who were just sure that everyone was going to love their takeover of health care could not possibly have been more wrong. These were doctors from the American Medical Association whose group supported the legislation.  Wait till they find out what the larger group of doctors that belong to another physicians organization have to say.

Senate leaders have reached an agreement to delay cuts to physician reimbursement rates for Medicare for one year.  There is some arbitrary formula that ties reimbursements to the economy, but the delay seems to happen every year and is called the “doc fix.” Congress has their own clinic down in the basement, so they don’t see the numbers of people it takes to man a busy doctors’ office, so they are clueless.  Senate leaders say they will pay for the “doc fix” this year by using savings from future improper payments of taxpayer subsidies to individuals and families for health insurance under ObamaCare that begin in 2014.

I have heard of “cooking the books” and creative bookkeeping, but somebody should wave a big red flag on this kind of thing.  If some future person gets a subsidy for which he is not eligible then he must return a portion of it.  A portion?  This is just for this year— next year is a new problem.  Can we please just repeal the whole thing, and get it out from under the control of these clueless people.

Millions of new patients, way fewer doctors.  Little innovation in pharmaceuticals, and nobody to prescribe them anyway.  Unintended consequences is far too mild a term to describe the mess that this Congress has made.

Great Moments in Unintended Consequences! by The Elephant's Child
December 9, 2010, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Energy, Health Care, Politics | Tags: , ,

And as I was just saying…

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