Awhile back, Sarah Palin gained fame or notoriety for mentioning how Obamacare involved death panels. That sparked a wave of righteous indignation and denials. Though, when they weren’t trying to dismiss Palin, Liberals like Paul Krugman didn’t hesitate to not only admit to death panels, but to present them as a feature.
But saying that Obamacare uses death panels is really to positive a portrayal, According to one physician’s recent testimony, Obamacare doesn’t “have” death panels. Rather, Obamacare is a death panel.
“I have now posted a notice in my office and each exam room stating exactly what Obamacare will cover for those yearly visits. Remember Obama promised this as a free exam — no co-pay, no deductible, no charge. That’s fine and dandy if you are healthy and have no complaints. However, we are obligated by law to code specifically for the reason of the visit. An annual exam is one specific code; you cannot mix this with another code, say, for rectal bleeding. This annual visit covers the exam and ‘discussion about the status of previously diagnosed stable conditions.’ That’s the exact wording under that code — insurance will not cover any new ailment under that code. If you are here for that annual exam, you will not be covered if you want to discuss any new ailment or unstable condition. I cannot bait and switch to another code — that’s illegal. We, the physicians, are audited all the time and can lose our license for insurance fraud. You, the patient, will then have to make a decision. Do you want your “free” yearly exam, or do you want to pay for a visit which is coded for a particular, new problem?”
So what happens to poor, elderly patients who can’t afford an exam for rectal bleeding, a condition that might be the symptom of a serious problem? Are they “covered”? No. Not really.
It might be worth pondering if, when Obamacare advocates promised a free annual exam, they communicated to their audiences exactly what was really going to be given to them “for free.” I don’t think so. I think when most people heard they would get a “free annual exam,” they thought of a time with a physician once a year when they could bring up any concerns they had developed in the previous year. They thought they could actually talk to their doctor about their medical issues.
While I wish Medicare did not exist, I think it is sinister that Obamacare cuts reimbursement by 23 percent.
“These lower payments won’t cover the cost of staying in practice to take care of the patient. Private doctors are becoming a thing of the past. By 2014, less than 25% of physicians will be in private medicine. Obama was right in stating you can keep your doctor if you want to — the problem is he or she will rarely be available.”
So here is another way in which Obamacare becomes a death panel, it drives doctors out of business.
While you aren’t permitted to talk to a doctor about what is on your mind during your “free” annual checkup, Obamacare does mandate other discussions.
“On top of all of that, doctors will be obligated — that’s right, obligated — to talk to you about things you may have no interest or need to talk about. You may just want to have a pap smear or check your cholesterol. However, I am now mandated by the government to talk to you about your weight, exercise, family life, smoking, sexual abuse(!), and even to ask if you wear seat belts. And I am mandated to record your answers. I am a physician. But I need to tell you to wear a seat belt and then record your answer.”
Obamacare is driving out real medicine and giving us domestic spies (who will also be required to enter all the data they collect in a digital database.) Forget about whether or not it will use death panels.
It is a death panel!