The New York Post reports that New York doctors are “treating ObamaCare like the plague,” according to a new survey.
See? I told you so.
A poll conducted by the New York State Medical Society finds that 44 percent of MDs said they are not participating in the nation’s new health-care plan.
Another 33 percent say they’re still not sure whether to become ObamaCare providers.Only 23 percent of the 409 physicians queried said they’re taking patients who signed up through health exchanges.
“This is so poorly designed that a lot of doctors are afraid to participate,” said Dr. Sam Unterricht, president of the 29,000-member organization. “There’s a lot of resistance. Doctors don’t know what they’re going to get paid.” [source: New York Post online 10/29/13]
If this trend holds, what do you think the next steps by the government will be?
Will the government do as a for-profit, private entity marketplace insurance company would? Will it try to please doctors by sweetening the deal, or perhaps offering patients more affordable alternatives?
Of course not. The government doesn’t have to please anyone. The more private entities it drives out of the marketplace—precisely what ObamaCare was intended to do—the more government will throw its weight around and impose whatever it wishes to impose.
If doctors pull away from ObamaCare, or Medicare/Medicaid for that matter, two things will happen. One, more doctors and hospitals will go out of business, because (increasingly) government insurance is the only game in town. People are already starting to lose their private insurance because the guidelines don’t fit with ObamaCare.
Government, thanks to its own actions, will be left with two choices. One, force doctors to take part in medical plans. Perhaps literally jail them if they refuse. Or, more likely, sanction them indirectly through taking away their licenses or fining them if they refuse.
The other option will be to simply tolerate the fact that there will be fewer and fewer doctors to take care of ill people. They’ll wail that we need more government funding, so the debt ceiling will be raised another trillion or two to provide sick people with … absolutely nothing.
The people who passed ObamaCare were open about the fact that they always wanted single-payer insurance. Single-payer insurance is essentially Communism. It’s a government monopoly where government has the final/only say in medical matters, because he who funds everything sets the terms.
Communistic medicine would not have ever passed, even in the first two years of Obama’s term. So they settled for the next best thing: A pseudo-“market driven” alternative that would suffocate the marketplace, with the marketplace getting the blame, and then, there you have it: Single-payer insurance (Medicare for all) will become the law of the land. By default.
Some people claim that single-payer insurance is a really nifty idea. I’ve only heard Americans say it, always people who are healthy and rarely, if ever, need to see the doctor. I’ve heard a handful of people from other countries (such as Canada) say it, although they’re always healthy too.
But these same people know full well that the government does a perfectly terrible job with things like the postal service (which fortunately we don’t need as much any longer); security and other airport operations; highway construction; school management; tax collection; and much else. Why in the world would a majority of us entrust government with something more life-or-death than any of these things?
The further we stray away from a marketplace, the harder it will be to restore one. The government shutdowns and budget crises are all due to the fact that Medicare spending is out of control and unsustainable. In other words, the government cannot rationally run an insurance company by monopolizing the industry and trying to make one size fit all. Like any inept or immoral business person, it’s quite naturally going broke.
The formula is simple and predictable. Government monopolizes and restrains. Quality and accessibility decline. And then coercion begins.
Feel sorry for your doctors, but feel more sorry for yourselves. You’re the ones who must suffer the indirect effects of socialized medicine when you try to get help for your illness.
There is an answer and it’s called laissez-faire capitalism applied to medicine, the full opening up of a medical marketplace. Nobody will advocate this because they fear it’s too risky and they think it’s morally wrong.
If you think harassing, coercing or otherwise holding a gun to doctors’ heads is morally and economically preferable, then your doctor has a fool for a patient.
Dr Michael Hurd
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