Over 200,000 Doctors Opting Out of Obamacare
There are many reasons for the declining state of the health care in the United States. It can be traced back at least to the Flexner Report and the creation of the American Medical Association, essentially cartelizing the medical industry. Various government interventions have only served to continue to increase the cost of health care while quality declines, and Obamacare is merely the latest chapter in this progression of interventions.
Many of the unintended (yet entirely predictable) consequences of this policy are coming to fruition, from individuals or families being forced off their plans (right here!) to doctors opting for early retirement over the prospect of dealing with the bureaucratic nightmare. According to a new report, many doctors that aren’t outright retiring are simply opting out of Obamacare plans all together, to the tune of the hundreds of thousands.
Barbara Boland of CNSNews breaks it down:
MoreOver 214,000 doctors won’t participate in the new plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA,) analysis of a new survey by Medical Group Management Association shows. That number of 214,524, estimated by American Action Forum, is through May 2014, but appears to be growing due to plans that force doctors to take on burdensome costs. It’s also about a quarter of the total number of 893,851 active professional physicians reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation.In January, an estimated 70% of California’s physicians were not participating in Covered California plans.Here are some of the reasons why:1. Reimbursements under Obamacare are at bottom-dollar – they are even lower than Medicare reimbursements, which are already significantly below market rates. “It is estimated that where private plans pay $1.00 for a service, Medicare pays $0.80, and ACA exchange plans are now paying about $0.60,” a study by the think-tank American Action Forum finds. “For example, Covered California plans are setting their plan fee schedules in line with that of Medi-Cal-California’s Medicaid Program-which means exchange plans are cutting provider reimbursement byup to 40 percent.”2. Doctors are expected to take on more patients to make up for the lost revenue, but that’s not happening, because primary care doctors already have more patients than they can handle. “Furthermore, physicians are worried that exchange plan patients will be sicker than the average patient because they may have been without insurance for extended periods of time, and therefore will require more of the PCPs time at lower pay,” says the study.