10 Ways Obamacare Will Affect Your Medical Care

Note: This is excerpted from “10 Reasons Why Obamacare Is Going to Ruin Your Medical Care… and Your Life” on Casey Research by independent physician Elizabeth Lee Vliet, MD.

The delay in the employer mandate is but one of dozens of negative impacts Obamacare will have on your medical services. As an independent physician, I’ve been discussing these issues with my patients for the past few years, helping them to prepare for what’s ahead.

Here are the 10 most important points that I tell my patients:

1. Your private insurance premiums will cost more and more each year.

2. You will lose the choices and flexibility in health insurance policies that we have had available up until now.

3. As reimbursements continue to drop, fewer and fewer doctors will take Medicare (for those 65 and older) or Medicaid (people younger than 65).

4. Fewer doctors accepting Medicare and Medicaid causes an increase in wait times for appointments and a decrease in the numbers and types of specialists available on these plans. Consumers would be wise to line up their doctors now.

5. Studies from various organizations and states have consistently shown that Medicaid recipients have longer waits for medical care, fewer options for specialists and poorer medical outcomes and die sooner after surgeries than people with no health insurance at all. Yet an increasing number of Americans will be forced into this second-class medical care.

6. As more people enter the taxpayer-funded plans (Medicare and Medicaid) instead of paying for private insurance, the costs to provide this increased medical care and medications will escalate, leading to higher taxes.

7. With no eligibility verifications in place, millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally will be able to access taxpayer-funded medical services, making longer lines, longer wait times and less money available for medical care for American citizens… unless taxes are increased even more.

8. Higher expenditures to provide medical services lead to rationing of medical care and treatment options to reduce costs. This is the mandated function of the Independent Payment Advisory Board: to cut costs by deciding which types of medical services to allow… or disallow.

If you are denied treatment, you have no appeal of IPAB decisions; you are simply out of luck, and possibly out of life. This is a radical departure from the appeals process required for all private health insurance plans. Further, the IPAB is accountable only to President Obama, and cannot be overridden by Congress or the courts. IPAB is designed to have the final word on your health.

9. Under current regulations, if medical care is denied by Medicare, then a patient is not allowed to pay cash to a Medicare-contracted physician or hospital or other health professional. Patients who need medical care that is denied under Medicare or Medicaid will find themselves having to either: 1) look for an independent physician or hospital (quite rare these days); or 2) go outside the USA for treatment.

10. Expect a loss of medical privacy. Beginning in 2014, if you participate in government health insurance, your health records will be sent to a centralized federal database, with or without your consent.

Jason Farrell

For The Daily Reckoning

P.S. Let us know what you think in the comments!