Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Obamacare: Citing Costs, Frustrated Doctors Say US Healthcare Headed in Wrong Direction You already know that Obamacare is unpopular with Americans, hurting more people than it's helping, raising costs, reducing options, and collapsing under its own weight -- causing the White House to scramble in search of dubious schemes to temporarily paper over its failures with tax dollars. Now you can add doctors to the long list of people who are dissatisfied with the results of Democrats' reckless, promise-breaking, partisan healthcare experiment and federal power grab. Via the Pittsburgh Post Gazette this week, a large majority of American physicians believe the nation's health system is on the wrong path:
A few weeks ago, the Physicians Practice journal released its seventh annual national “Great American Physician Survey” of its readers, which revealed doctors’ deep pessimism about trends in healthcare delivery. One question asked the 1,315 responding doctors to indicate, on a scale of 1 to 5, the degree they are happy with the direction healthcare in America is going. The responses averaged a dismal 1.86...The Physician Practice survey reflected those frustrations: 40.5 percent said higher deductible payments and patient costs “represent the largest barrier to patient care,” followed by the simple high cost of care at 20 percent, for a total of 60.5 percent pointing to finances impacting patients’ care.
The survey found that doctors resent "government intrusion" -- the headline takeaway from the journal in which it was published -- with frustrations mounting: "Because of continuing economic and regulatory pressures, 72 percent found the profession more stressful and less lucrative than in previous years, and a strong majority said they are concerned about the direction that healthcare is headed."  The poll found a plurality of physicians calling Obamacare a "disservice" to the country, with slightly fewer calling it 'mostly' good, despite flaws. Just 7.5 percent offered an unvarnished endorsement of the law. Opinions of Obamacare may be colored by partisan politics, but the empirical outcomes speak for themselves. More than six in ten doctors cite lack of affordability as the number one problem for their patients. The "Affordable" Care Act at work. And on that same theme, here's the latest news for Michigan consumers:
If you get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, you may soon be paying more. State officials have approved an average price hike of 16.7 percent for individuals enrolled through the Affordable Care Act. “It’s a big increase we haven’t seen. Last year was (a) 2.5 percent increase. Compared to last year and what we saw the year before, (this is a) pretty big increase. When you look at other states that have announced their increases, North Carolina (is) 24 percent (and) Pennsylvania (is) 33 percent,” said Leslie Muller, an assistant professor of economics at Grand Valley State University. The increase was approved by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services.
More double-digit increases, as we've seen from coast to coast. This effect will likely force even more younger, healthier consumers away from the law -- which in turn forces insurers to either request even bigger rate increases (which feeds the spiral), or stop participating in Obamacare altogether, due to the massive losses associated with covering a disproportionately less healthy "risk pool."  This is the slow-motion implosion experts have been warning about, borne out by waning enrollment projections.  It's why Democrats from Bill Clinton to a Democratic governor are starting to admit that the Obamacare has been an abject failure on its fundamental purpose.  And it's why Obamacare defenders are trying to blame the GOP while pushing for even bigger government "solutions" to "fix" the mess they made.  Republicans up and down the ballot should be focusing on this issue in their campaigns, holding Democrats accountable for what they've inflicted upon the country. Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey is taking the right approach:

Read my statement below on the skyrocketing Obamacare premiums.

Toomey is also keeping the spotlight on this administration's VA failures, about which the president is not telling the truth:

Many on the Left would like to replace Obamacare with a fully government-run regime, which would dismantle the employer-based system with which most Americans are satisfied, and incur massive new taxpayer costs.  But the VA is a microcosm of the single-payer model affecting men and women about whom there is a bipartisan consensus to assist.  It's badly broken, rife with corruption, and still costing veterans their lives.  The VA should be reformed and repaired on a small scale, not replicated on a mass scale and forced on every American.

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