All the people signing up for Obamacare, even if the numbers are not being inflated, do not add up to nearly enough to reach the White House’s goal. But there are additional numbers of people who are “responding” to the Affordable Care Act in ways that tell us something more about the program.
With Obamacare coverage beginning in earnest on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reports that thousands of people for which Obamacare plans will block some health care access are rushing to get medical tests and procedures done before their pre-ACA coverage is eliminated.
Those who were receiving medical care before being forced to sign up to a new plan on HealthCare.gov will, in many cases, be locked out of hospitals and prevented from seeing doctors who they had typically used. The WSJ contends that about 70% of new plans are more restrictive in the range of doctors and hospitals available to patients than their predecessors.
Fearing that the will be unable to use the doctors and hospitals they want with their new plans, doctors are reporting a massive uptick in the number of patients calling for preventative procedures or moving up their planned surgeries to prevent a disaster once Obamacare measures strike.
The paper explains that while supporters of the Affordable Care Act may argue that procedures will continue to be available, the plans severely curb access to certain doctors and hospitals, preventing patients from getting the level of care they are used to at their usual price. In particular, insurers now using the Obamacare system have begun to exclude major academic institutions from their coverage, as these compete with cheaper community hospitals ostensibly providing the same service.
Here we have yet more evidence that, despite the claims that people are being helped by the Affordable Care Act, plenty of people are having their health care degraded by the law. We’ve heard about the shortages from the New York Times, NPR, and Fox News.
This rush to get medical care taken care of before the new year is nothing less than a mass statement by the people that they believe they are headed into a raw deal, thanks to Obamacare.