I can still hear Nancy Pelosi saying that the Affordable Care Act will make healthcare not only more affordable, but more accessible to everyone. California, Pelosi’s home state, is one of the few states to be boasting that the health insurance through the exchange will actually lower costs for consumers. Pelosi has been using this to tell the nation that Obamacare is working, but she fails to mention that most of the country will see rising premium costs and we’re talking significant rises in many states up to 70+%.
Yet, in her home state of California, it appears that Obamacare will not be making healthcare more accessible. In fact, it seems to be doing the exact opposite. To hold the cost of healthcare down, the number of available doctors and hospitals are being restricted by the insurance providers.
A good example of what is happening can be seen with Health Net Inc. In Southern California, they’re offering the lowest premiums, with the cheapest being $100 less than their nearest competitor. This is likely to draw them a fair share of the business.
However, Health Net also offers the fewest doctors to their policy holders. Californians living in Los Angeles who purchase their coverage from Health Net will find that they have access to less than a third of the primary doctors that employer provided plans offer. San Diegoans will only be given access to 204 primary providers through Health Net.
Dr. Richard Baker, Executive Director of Urban Health Institute at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles commented about the situation saying:
“These narrow networks won’t work because they cut off access for patients. We don’t want this to become a roadblock.”
A number of analysts in the California health industry believe that the balance between keeping costs down and providing adequate access to doctors and hospitals will be a difficult one. They also see the companies offering the cheapest policies will have fewer doctors on their list and that Californians using them may well end up hearing that the doctor can’t see them now, more often than not. Hospital visits and surgeries may take much longer to schedule. In the long run, people will have to wait longer to be seen and treated and this means that a number of people will suffer longer with their ailments and conditions and others will die waiting to get necessary care.
To Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), this is the sign of success for Obamacare!