SOCIALIZED MEDICINE V

DAY TO DAY EFFECTS ON DOCTORS

          Doctors’ and facilities’ fights to collect payments will intensify.  Tighter government price controls, greatly enhanced reporting requirements, and more scrutiny are guaranteed.  (Private insurers are increasingly tying their fees to Medicare’s, so a change in Medicare may affect most of a physician’s practice.)  There is vast new funding for auditors, bounty hunters, and law enforcers to “find” instances of “waste, fraud, and abuse,” which now include providing “unnecessary” services or ones that don’t meet bureaucratically approved “best practices.”

         Even if doctors do collect payment for a service, there is a risk that it can be “recovered” (taken) by electronic funds transfer from their bank account at a later time.  Each recovery of discovered “waste, fraud, and abuse” could also be attached to $50,000 in civil monetary penalties, or a prison sentence.

          Doctors will spend increasing amounts of time fighting with or defending themselves against insurance clerks and government enforcers.  They will constantly be deluged with more compliance requirements and documentation demands.  They will be at odds with their patients because doctors will pay financial penalties for providing “too much” or “deviant” care.

          Physicians “resource use” will be tracked.  Proposed legislation will reduce Medicare payment by five percent for physicians whose resource use is at or above the 90th percentile of national utilization rates.  Reformers envision that more and more physicians will be in “accountable care organizations,” which divvy up lump-sum payments among various providers, meaning doctors will be fighting with each other for their share of the collective payment pot.

          Doctors can get rewarded with paltry Medicare or Medicaid fee increases if they install electronic health records, collect megabytes of data, and show compliance with government criteria.  The “stimulus” bill will help pay for the new electronic systems, which may cost $50,000 per physician---if, and only if, the doctor continues to make “meaningful use” of it.  But the doctor is on his own for ongoing maintenance and technical support of the system.

          According to some surveys, as many as half of currently practicing physicians may quit rather than accept Obama’s reform.  Arizona’s Governor posted a photograph on her webpage of a sigh on Dr. Joseph Scherzer’s door.  A Phoenix dermatologist, Scherzer’s sign says:  “If you voted for Obamacare, be aware that these doors will close before it goes into effect.”  Dr. Jack Cassell of Mount Dora, Florida, also has a sign:  “If you voted for Obama, seek urological care elsewhere.”

        Think about a future with half the doctors currently practicing and 30 million additional people who received free health care.  Think about begging government bureaucrats to allow you to get scarce medical care.  Think about seriously ill people waiting a year for a needed procedure and dying before they can see the doctor.

          Clearly, this reform was not created with the intention of increasing the availability of lower-cost, high-quality medical care to masses of Americans.  So what are the designers of this plan trying to achieve? The goals of the long-time advocates of reform are spelled out   plainly in professional journals, such as JAMA, the New England Journal of Medicine,

 And Annals of Internal Medicine.  THE IDEA IS FOR THE ELITE PLANNERS TO GAIN CONTROL OF THE MEDICAL DOLLAR, AND USE IT TO ENGINEER A NEW SYSTEM, ONE THAT PLACES THE GOOD OF THE STATE ABOVE THAT OF INDIVIDUAL PATIENTS.

          FIGHT FOR FREEDOM.  REPEAL THIS EVIL BILL.  TALK TO YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS, YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR NEIGHBORS, YOUR CO-WORKERS, STRANGERS.  TELL THEM THE DEMOCRATS RAMMED THIS EVIL BILL DOWN THE THROATS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.  TO REPEAL THIS  BILL WE MUST KICK ALL THE DEMOCRATS OUT.  EVERY ONE MUST VOTE REPUBLICAN IN NOVEMBER 2010. 

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