A Doctor Speaks on the Healthcare Bill
Dear Wonderful Patients,
90% of my patients ask me what I think of the health-care bill. 10% prefer to get their information from the media. If you want to know what has actually happened to me, my family, and some of my patients, read on. If you prefer to form your opinions without the input of your doctor, stop reading this now.
There is MUCH “theory” out there about what the healthcare bill will and won’t do for Americans.I actually took the nine hours to read it. I am VERY, VERY, worried about its content and what it will potentially do to American health care.
Let’s talk about what has actually come to pass, so far:
1. Our practice took a 32% pay cut from our most frequently performed procedure. (What small business can take an acute 32% pay cut and stay in business??)
2. Most of my patients, informed of their costs for health care for 2011, have experienced a 12%-17% increase in their premiums. NOBODY who is middle class has told me that their premiums went down.
My husband works for corporate America and the package that they sent us said,” Your health care costs are going up for 2011 directly related to the Healthcare bill.” They did not “sugar coat” it.
3. My tax man has informed me that not only will I pay more for the coverage for my employees, but I will be taxed (for the first time) on the insurance that I do provide for them. He is still in the process of evaluating the details, but he believes that my employees will be taxed (for the first time) on the health benefits that I provide for them. So, rising premiums, I’ll be taxed and they’ll be taxed.
4. The committee that the President has formed to make decisions about what will and won’t be paid for is composed of 95% PEDIATRICIANS. There is not one surgeon, specialist, or expert in the elderly. I cannot understand, at all, how a pediatrician is going to decide what a 65 year old urology patient needs and does not need. That part worries me enormously. The make up of the committee, alone, leads me to conclude that the health of adults is taking a back seat in priority. I don’t know about you, but a federal committee telling my doctor what can and can’t be done for me is pretty frightening, to me!
5. Many of my patients are having a harder time getting insurance. The phone calls from people who can’t get coverage has actually gone up.
6. I, personally, know of three medical students who have decided to drop out of med school and pursue other careers as they fear getting a very expensive education and being forced to be a “government” doctor.
7. I know of 19 doctors under 63 who have “quit”. Most of them just could not take the paperwork and decreasing reimbursement.
8. I know of 23 doctors who have stopped seeing Medicare patients due to poor reimbursement and an overwhelming amount of paperwork. The provisions in the healthcare bill will continue to decrease what we are paid and increase the paper work.
9. I have had 100’s of Medicare patients who cannot find a gynecologist who takes Medicare. I have 30-40 patients who have had trouble finding an internist who takes Medicare.
10. PERSONALLY, I HAVE NOT SEEN ONE SCENARIO IN WHICH THE HEALTHCARE BILL HAS IMPROVED THE LIVES OF ANYONE THAT I KNOW.
11. Many of my patients who run small businesses have told me that “they are waiting to hire based on what they see happen with healthcare. If their costs go up too much, they will not hire.” THAT REALLY WORRIES ME.
So, what do I think is going to happen? If we continue as we are, I believe that we are going to a “two tiered” system like they have in the rest of the world. I believe that healthcare for the bottom 10% of people (economically) will improve due to the bill. I think the middle class will see HUGE increases in what they spend in healthcare (both from premiums and from taxation and from loss of coverage for many items). I think the wealthy will have access to the same level of care that the middle class and the wealthy have always had in America.
I think that the Medicare patient is going to see less and less covered and that fewer and fewer doctors will be able to take Medicare.
I do not see any way that the healthcare costs of this nation are going down. I think we will be paying for healthcare instead of taking a vacation.
I think that the lower middle class will be forced into a lower level of care (government run healthcare) as the taxes go up and the premiums go up and the costs to businesses go up. They simply will not be able to afford insurance and a private doctor.
IS THIS REALLY WHAT YOU WANT FOR AMERICA???
This is not the time to stay home on voting day. Get out and make your voice heard.
If any of you have had any direct impact to YOU, due to the healthcare bill, I’d like to know. Please only include stories of either positive or negative effects that have happened to you. I don’t need to hear any political theories of what might happen. The media has more than provided that information. I’d like to know of anything that has happened for certain, to YOU.