Who’da thunk that deep-blue California, home of the Pet Rock, would be the scene of a full-blown rebellion against Obamacare?
According to the head of the California Medical Association, an estimated 70 percent of the state’s doctors are refusing to participate in the Obamacare insurance exchange.
CMA represents nearly two-fifths of the doctors in the state.
The major complaint is that, despite Obamacare’s jacking up of insurance rates for customers, doctors are being paid less and less.
San Diego ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Theodore Mazer told the Washington Examiner that in other states, doctors are paid $76 by Medicare for return office visits, but in uber-expensive California the rate is $24.
He added that in California, doctors get $160 for a tonsillectomy, a procedure that nets $500 to $700 in other states.
Insurance companies in California have pegged their rates to the state’s tight-fisted Medicare plan, Medi-Cal, so many doctors have flat out refused to go along with the Obama Administration’s marching orders.
To add insult to injury, the state’s insurance exchange has been garnering physicians’ wrath by listing some doctors as participants without their permission.
Executive Direcotr Donald Waters, of the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association, said, “They may be listed as actually participating, but not of their own volition.”
He called the exchange’s doctor lists a shell game, because most of the 3,100 doctor members in his group are not participating.
According to the Examiner, independent insurance brokers have confirmed the CMA’s estimate that 70 percent of the state’s doctors are boycotting the exchange.
Officials with the exchange, called Covered California, are apparently oblivious to all this, as they are estimating they will have an 85 percent participation rate.
“They’ve shown no numbers,” Mazer noted.
All of this bureaucratic frustration has led many doctors to consider early retirement, a huge potential problem for the state, which already has a shortage of primary care physicians.
Alex Briscoe, health director for Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, said, “Enrollment doesn’t mean access, because there aren’t enough doctors to take the low rates of Medicaid. There aren’t enough primary care physicians, period.”
We had to pass Obamacare to know what’s in it, according to Nancy Pelosi.
What’s not in it, apparently, is incentive for the doctors who are expected to do the actual work to continue providing health care.