Right about now, as the talking heads and mainstream media finish dissecting the recall in Wisconsin, they will turn their attention to the Supreme Court’s decision on the President’s health care Law. And rightfully so. They will talk about whether or not President Obama will win if he loses, if the GOP will lose if it is overturned, that the Dems will be gifted a riled up base if it is smacked down. All sorts of political permutations, winners and losers.
The decision, and all that surrounds it, does, indeed, create a feeding frenzy for inside-the-beltway pundits and those of us who follow the political debates closely. Yet those who do play in those realms risk losing site of the real losers here. The real losers actually became losers the day the bill was signed into law. The real losers here are the American people….and their doctors.
Why do I say this? Let’s start with three simple reasons.
1. Have you noticed that health insurance premiums which were leveling off somewhat as recently as 2009, have begun to take off again? What else would one expect when the government mandates coverage for so many services, WITHOUT A CO-PAYMENT to boot? Who in their right mind would conclude that by doing this that prices would come down? Of course, if people perceive services are free of charge, they will use them more often, not the other way around.
2. The harsh reality for private practicing doctors is that their fees have been cut to the bone by Medicare and insurers and Mr. Obama promises more to come. He may promise not to push for that, but the only way to reach the cuts in spending is to do just that. His deeds on many fronts do not match his original rhetoric, so doctors have little reason to believe him now. Result – doctors are deciding NOT to provide services to Medicare patients anymore, while some are planning early retirement.
3. Independent Payment Advisory Boards (IPAB) created by the President’s Health Care Law, have been formed to ration care. They do so not by direct rationing, but by reducing or eliminating payments to doctors for certain services. The end result, rationed care.
So, unless you consider higher insurance premiums, inability to keep your doctor (or inability to find a doctor who will take your insurance or Medicare), and less treatment options to be a good thing, you cannot be happy with the changes taking place in the health care system. We are losing our freedom to choose our doctors, losing our insurance coverage, and losing the right to decide if and when we want to purchase health insurance at all.