If you want to keep your doctor, you might have to pay more for it, Obamacare architect Zeke Emanuel said today on Fox News Sunday:
An estimated seven out of every 10 physicians in deep-blue California are rebelling against the state’s Obamacare health insurance exchange and won’t participate, the head of the state\’s largest medical association said.
So even if narrow networks actually were better, people would resist them. And they’ll fight with every fiber of their being when you tell them to take their kid with leukemia to a community hospital rather than the top-notch children’s hospital nearby. Expect the fight over doc shock to be bitter and long — and to end when insurers cave and start adding pricey doctors back to their networks.
All eyes have been focused on the functionality of the HealthCare.gov website — or the lack thereof — since its launch October 1. But another rolling disaster is underway that is much more significant: Despite the president’s assurances to the contrary, virtually everyone — not just the 15 million Americans with individual policies — will feel the brunt of Obamacare’s sweeping changes. Once members of the public begin to see the costly changes to their health plans and the limits on their access to doctors, the issue will dominate the debate through 2014.
Earlier this year, the president asserted that “for the 85 to 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance . . . their only impact is that their insurance is stronger, better, more secure than it was before. Full stop. That’s it. They don’t have to worry about anything else.” And as recently as November 14, the president claimed that “when I said you can keep your health care, I’m looking at folks who’ve got employer-based health care; I’m looking at folks who’ve got Medicare and Medicaid — and that accounts for the vast majority of Americans.”
health care experts say, it’s not out of the question that the Obama administration could face the worst-case scenario on Jan. 1: the number of uninsured Americans actually goes up.
Will ObamaCare Finally Cause American Seniors to Turn Against Government Health Care? | John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog | NCPA.orgDecember 4, 2013
On November 16, The Wall Street Journal reported that UnitedHealth Group has dropped thousands of doctors in at least ten states from its Medicare Advantage networks. This is a consequence of the federal government’s cutting payments to Medicare Advantage plans ― by $156 billion over ten years ― to fund ObamaCare. Earlier this month, Evan Gahr of the Daily Caller wrote an article describing how plans nationwide are shrinking, and citing a report by consultants at Avalere which projected reduction in Medicare Advantage plans, especially in rural areas.
The demand for health insurance among uninsured Americans: Results of a survey experiment and implications for policyDecember 2, 2013
Most existing work on the demand for health insurance focuses on employees’ decisions to enroll in employer-provided plans. Yet any attempt to achieve universal coverage must focus on the uninsured, the vast majority of whom are not offered employer-sponsored insurance. In the summer of 2008, we conducted a survey experiment to assess the willingness to pay for a health plan among a large sample of uninsured Americans. The experiment yields price elasticities of around one, substantially greater than those found in most previous studies. We use these results to estimate coverage expansion under the Affordable Care Act, with and without an individual mandate. We estimate that 35 million uninsured individuals would gain coverage and find limited evidence of adverse selection.
only about 57 percent of doctors in California accept new Medicaid patients, according to a study published last year in the journal Health Affairs — the second-lowest rate in the nation after New Jersey. Payment rates for Medicaid, known in California as Medi-Cal, are also low here compared with most states, and are being cut by an additional 10 percent in some cases just as the expansion begins.
“The symbolism is horrible,” said Lisa Folberg, a vice president of the California Medical Association.
The health care law seeks to diminish any access problem by allowing for a two-year increase in the Medicaid payment rate for primary care doctors, set to expire at the end of 2014. The average increase is 73 percent, bringing Medicaid rates to the level of Medicare rates for these doctors.
But states have been slow to put the pay increase into effect, experts say, and because of the delay and the fact that the increase is temporary, fewer doctors than hoped have joined the ranks of those accepting Medicaid patients.
Obamacare applicants are finding their premiums are tripling, their favorite doctors aren\’t available, and many prestigious hospitals offering specialized care are off-limits to them, according to a Washington Examiner survey of health insurance agents and brokers across the country.
In fact, both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Congressional Budget Office projected in 2010 that millions would be pushed off Medicare Advantage entirely and back into traditional Medicare over ObamaCare\’s first 10 years.
Recognizing the political risk of deep cuts to a popular program in an election year, the administration created a dubious $8.3 billion \”quality improvement\” demonstration project, with the bulk of the money given to Medicare Advantage plans in 2012.
Not only did this project dwarf any previous federal demonstration project, it was so poorly designed that it was unlikely to \”produce meaningful results,\” according to a Government Accountability Office audit.
But the funds masked nearly all of ObamaCare\’s scheduled Medicare Advantage cuts for 2012, and much of cuts for this year.
In addition to plan cancellations, seniors are starting to feel the impact of these ObamaCare spending cuts via higher costs.