One of the big topics that I have heard or seen discussed in the news in regards to Obamacare is the access to patient care. A lot of the speculation that has been going around has been focusing on the extent to which patients will be covered, the limits on patient choice, and how long the wait will be for a patient to see a doctor. During my research, I stumbled upon a report published by Kathryn Nix in July of 2012 covering ten ways Obamacare limits patient choice.
“Obamacare limits patient choice through expansive federal regulation of the insurance market, government interference in the decisions patients make with their doctors, and increased dependence on government health programs.”
I found this list to be very interesting. The list included provisions such as free preventative services, a medical loss ratio requirement, and Medicaid expansion, and Medicare advantage cuts. Some of this was not entirely clear for me. For instance, Medicaid, a federal program to provide health care for the poor and disabled is being expanded, while Medicare, used to benefit seniors through a private plan of their choice, is receiving cuts. These cuts will make seniors either pay more in premiums or receive fewer benefits. This doesn’t entirely seem like a fiscally intelligent plan. Clearly further research will expand my knowledge of this subject, but it seems that we are extending this plan to those who cannot afford the care (17 million people to be exact), and making cuts to seniors who’s health may depend on the benefits provided by the Medicare plan before. The general trend that exists with the presence of these new plans is that there will be limited access to providers and a reduced choice of physicians for current and new enrollees.
From my research, I seem to have found mainly negative responses to Obamacare, even from “non-partisan” sources. This can either be as a result of poor researching techniques, or it could be a very good indicator of the implications of the act. Thus, here is a plea. If anyone has found a positive reaction to Obamacare, whether it was in a newspaper, or a segment on the news, I would be interested to see it.