The Doctor Isn’t In

This week we learned that our Government is going to conduct a stealth program to discover whether or not US physicians are accepting new Medicare and Medicaid patients. As Claude Rains said in Casablanca, I’m shocked, shocked that this is going on! Of course he was referring to gambling. Trust the Government not to gamble our money, just waste it studying the obvious, then lay the predicate for legislating physicians to accept these patients. I can think of many other ways to spend $350,000, but hey, it’s not the Bureaucrat’s money.

What we are experiencing in the Mr. Obama’s current healthcare scenario is the beginning of a multi-year, hugely expensive dance, that will ultimately create a two-tier system of healthcare and, without question, decrease the access to physician care for the majority of Americans; of course, that majority does not include the members of Congress who created this cluster…. ummm, bomb!

The newspapers are full of stories about physicians not accepting new Medicare and Medicaid (M/C squared) patients. The reason is simple- they can’t afford the charity at the expense of their business, their practice, their employees and all of their families. That’s a lot of mouths to feed. So as the population ages and the Baby Boomers flood the market along with the tens of millions of Medicaid patients that The President has added at your expense, who will be left to see these patients? No one; the Doctor will not be in! The solution- legislate him/her in. Well now, how’s that going to work for you? In Massachusetts, physicians are forced to accept all types of Medicare patients as a condition of their licensure. Surprised? The model in The Bay State is the harbinger of what is to come on a national level. Long waits, physicians leaving the State, huge increase in premiums and the list goes on and on and on. Bottom line- No one’s getting fat ‘cept Mama Cass! There is decreased access to primary care at a higher cost. Now what? Physicians will ultimately break up into 2 groups- those that accept no insurance, but will see their required quota of Medicare/Medicaid patients in the same way that airlines allocate seats for accumulated miles. Good luck getting an appointment with these physicians because they will likely be the doctors in higher demand. Those that remain will accept what will eventually become single payer insurance. The result – you will definitely have access to primary care, but you will have to wait. You may then get to see what is referred to as a physician extender, better known as a Physician’s Assistant, or a Nurse Practitioner. The doctor may do a two-minute drive-by, but will likely allocate only 150 words to you because he has to see a ridiculous number of patients to be able to pay his bills. Be careful what you ask for! So on this July 4th, celebrate your last few months of healthcare independence, because after this year, Let the Games begin!

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2 Responses to “The Doctor Isn’t In”

  1. Hello! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects? Thanks for your time!

    • Dr. Brooks says:

      Thanks for taking the time to respond.

      There are several sites that you can access that deal with healthcare policy issues. My preference is to read as much as I can about an issue from both sides. As such, I subscribe to Health Affairs, The National Center for Policy Analysis, especially the writings of Dr. John Goodman, and also search the sites of The Cato Institute, The Brookings Institution. The Manhattan Institute and The Harvard School of Public Health. All these sites are easily accessed online. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Daily Telegraph in Great Britain and The Globe and Mail in Canada also keep me abreast of issues in those parts of the world.

      As you enjoy the blogs, it’s so easy to share the radio program and your comments with your friends through our Facebook page Facebook @ Health of the Nation

      Would you also do us the honor of asking your Facebook Community (as well as you) to subscribe to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website?

      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program.

      Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.

      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment.

      Mitchell Brooks, M.D.

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