Government may be poised to mandate that all doctors participate in Obamacare.
For me and many other doctors like me, taking care of you has never been about the money. I have always considered it an honor and a privilege to be allowed personal entrance into the private world of your mind and your body. It is very satisfying for me to be able to offer my medical knowledge and experience to help you, my patient. This is why no matter how much or how little you or your insurance company pay me to see you, I will continue to do so. I will not abandon you because the reimbursement I get for your office visit is constantly diminishing or because I will soon get a bundled or quality-of-care payment rather than a fee for the service. No matter what the insurance scheme, I will struggle to lower office overhead to compensate for continued loss of income.
But Obamacare may not allow me to continue taking care of you, no matter how altruistic I am. The real problem with Obamacare’s narrow networks on the state exchanges is not doctors like me dropping out; it is insurers deciding not to add us to their new networks in the first place. Don’t get me wrong. No doctor in his or her right mind is eager to accept the reduced fees that Obamacare offers, and there is every reason to believe that the new policies will cut our reimbursements to the bone. But the reason that I don’t participate in the individual market’s GHI, HIP, or Empire Blue Cross plans is that these insurers have decided not to include my university’s network of doctors.