You'll be hearing a lot about how the Affordable Care Act helps patients, but the exact opposite is true: the Affordable Care act hurts patients, especially because it pushes them into the inferior Medicaid program. Five new stories of health care disasters:
1. One North Carolina pediatrician, Dr. Rosemary Stein of Burlington, recently wrote in the Charlotte Observer, that
The ACA limits access to health care in two ways. First, physicians have less time to treat patients every day. Second, we are unable to deliver effective medical counseling to our patients.
2. As another doctor wrote:
The Physicians Foundation made shockwaves last month when it released its 2014 Survey of America’s Physicians. The survey’s top-line finding: Of the 20,000 doctors surveyed, almost 50 percent stated that Obamacare deserves either a “D” or an “F.” Only a quarter of physicians graded it as either an “A” or a “B.” Count me among the discontented. Obamacare has harmed too many of my patients.
3. Meanwhile, people who believed that "if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan," will be getting a nasty surprise.
4. And rightwing rag the New York Times reports that many ACA policyholders are finding they can't afford to actually use the policies:
About 7.3 million Americans are enrolled in private coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and more than 80 percent qualified for federal subsidies to help with the cost of their monthly premiums. But many are still on the hook for deductibles that can top $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for families — the trade-off, insurers say, for keeping premiums for the marketplace plans relatively low. The result is that some people — no firm data exists on how many — say they hesitate to use their new insurance because of the high out-of-pocket costs.
The evidence is mounting. The ACA promised cheaper but better medical care for more people. In fact it is hurting medical care and running up costs both for health care providers and for ordinary people.
5. Meanwhile, the lead editorial (behind a paywall) in today's Wall Street Journal shows why the ACA, rather than lowering health care costs, will be raising them.
You'll hear loud cries for North Carolina to get more involved in the ACA, including expanding Medicaid. The truth is that the ACA is a mess, and our state is better off staying away from it.