Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Great moments in the history of ObamaCare...

... and it's still 2+ years from being fully enacted!

Was this in the ObamaCare legislation as well:

U.S. Plans Stealth Survey on Access to Doctors

Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of “mystery shoppers” to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it.

The administration says the survey will address a “critical public policy problem”: the increasing shortage of primary care doctors, including specialists in internal medicine and family practice. It will also try to discover whether doctors are accepting patients with private insurance while turning away those in government health programs that pay lower reimbursement rates.

Federal officials predict that more than 30 million Americans will gain coverage under the health care law passed last year. “These newly insured Americans will need to seek out new primary care physicians, further exacerbating the already growing problem” of a shortage of such physicians in the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a description of the project prepared for the White House.

You know, if you are going to do any, ahem, sleuthing to try to address the looming doctor shortage, would it not make sense to do it before crafting the legislation of ObamaCare so there would actually be something in the law to address this problem.

But as we all know, what was actually in the legislation played a distant second to just ramming the thing home and getting it on the President's desk for his signature.

And yet, what this represents to us is a stunning admission that what's in the law and what we're all now finding out is in the law with it's additional onerous regulations and red tape has merely exacerbated the doctor shortage problem.

And do we sense a trust issue here?:

Plans for the survey have riled many doctors because the secret shoppers will not identify themselves as working for the government.

“I don’t like the idea of the government snooping,” said Dr. Raymond Scalettar, an internist in Washington. “It’s a pernicious practice — Big Brother tactics, which should be opposed.”

According to government documents obtained from Obama administration officials, the mystery shoppers will call medical practices and ask if doctors are accepting new patients and, if so, how long the wait would be. The government is eager to know whether doctors give different answers to callers depending on whether they have public insurance, like Medicaid, or private insurance, like Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Dr. George J. Petruncio, a family doctor in Turnersville, N.J., said: “This is not a way to build trust in government. Why should I trust someone who does not correctly identify himself?”

Dr. Stephen C. Albrecht, a family doctor in Olympia, Wash., said: “If federal officials are worried about access to care, they could help us. They don’t have to spy on us.”

Dr. Robert L. Hogue, a family physician in Brownwood, Tex., asked: “Is this a good use of tax money? Probably not. Everybody with a brain knows we do not have enough doctors.”

While we realize the AMA does not represent all doctors, they are the most recognizable medical association in the land, so when they got behind ObamaCare, it was a signal that the medical establishment was ready to jump into bed with the administration and throw it's support behind the bill.

Perhaps now, more than a few of those doctors who thought that entering into a partnership with the federal government was a swell idea may now be having second thoughts as they're finding out their new partner will be going behind their back to check up on them.

And what was that again about exacerbating a doctor shortage?

1 comment:

Road Dawg said...

One more important group whereby reading the bill seems to be important.