Thursday, March 11, 2010

Where Have all the Doctors Gone?

In the 60's there was a popular folk song titled "Where have all the flowers gone?", written by Pete Seeger and performed by Peter, Paul & Mary. The song was a not so thinly disguised protest of the war in Viet Nam.

We could be singing that song in the not too distant future if Obabacare becomes reality. The lyrics would change to ask, where have all the doctors gone.

Kansas radiologist, Dr. Milton Wolf, has these musings on Obabacare.

Obamacare proponents would have us believe that we will add 30 million patients to the system without adding providers, we will see no decline in the quality of care for the millions of Americans currently happy with the system, and -if you act now!- we will save money in the process. But why stop there? Why not promise it will no longer rain on weekends and every day will be a great hair day?

No bad hair days indeed. Who would believe that?

Suddenly dumping (literally) 30 million new patients seeking free health care is a problem? Yes, it is free. POTUS said so.

In his latest campaign run to drum up support for reform he said every insurance company would be required to offer free preventive care to everyone.

By free, I suppose he means the docs and labs won't charge anything, which means the insurance companies won't have to build the cost of those services into their premiums.

The justification for Obamacare has been to control costs, but the problem is there is little in Obamacare that will do that. Instead, there are provisions that will ration care and artificially set price. This is a confusion of costs and price

There is also a confusion in health care and health insurance, but why quibble over details?

As one example, consider the implications of Obamacare's financial penalty aimed at your doctor if he seeks the expert care he has determined you need. If your doctor is in the top 10 percent of primary care physicians who refer patients to specialists most frequently - no matter how valid the reasons - he will face a 5 percent penalty on all their Medicare reimbursements for the entire year.

A 5% cut, on top of the 21% required cut in Medicare reimbursements. Gosh, sounds to me like Obabacare will cut costs after all. That has got to bring down the cost of treating Medicare patients. Right?

OK, so who is this doc going rogue on Obabacare? Surely some right wing whack job with an NRA membership.

Actually, Dr. Wolf is Obama's cousin.

Wonder if he voted for change in the 2008 election?
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