It is not easy to find a doctor who takes Medicare in our area. When we found one that did, mom accepted him, no questions asked, based on his sweet, smiling demeanor. I was not so easily convinced. Call me from the Show Me State if you’d like.
We arrived for our dual appointments – there was nobody in the waiting room so we waited just a few minutes before we were taken to the same examining room. The nurse came, very polite, took our information on her laptop and left, and we waited and waited. Finally, mom’s favorite smiling doctor showed up with his laptop in tow.
He told us his office was one hundred percent compliant with the Obama Care electronic patient portals. We could not have cared less about his electronic compliance. Without touching her, he made mom walk back and forth to see what her right-leaning gait looked like. He determined that she needed a rolling walker because she probably had a mini stroke at some point when the gait commenced. He was not going to order an MRI because she is too old and Obama Care will not approve payment.
He did not touch her on the previous visit either when she fell but had not broken anything; she was in severe pain and covered in ugly, deep bruises. He did not order any x-rays then because she did not seem to be in terrible pain, he said. Mom is stoic and put up a good front in the doctor’s office; she lingered in bed for three months, healing from the awful fall she took outside in the grass.
I complained of a terrible earache and a sinus infection. From three feet away, without touching me, he shined a flashlight into my throat, typed something into his laptop and told us that he will order our meds into the system which is connected directly to the pharmacy. We paid for the visit and drove to the nearest apothecary.
The prescriptions were not there just as I had feared. The doctor’s office had closed for the day and the pharmacist could not call to check where in cyberspace was the order trapped for meds that we both needed right away. On the positive side, at least the meds are available for now, rationing in pharmaceuticals has not begun yet.
As all these computers communicate with each other through the various electronic portals, do not expect any medical privacy or cyber security of any kind. Your entire life’s history, health, meds, warts, skin lesions, bunions, surgeries, hospitalizations, Social Security numbers, income, addresses, smoking history, salt intake, soda drinking and fat-eating habits, sexual preferences, gun ownership, and biometric data are up for grabs for all to see and use. All your private medical history and information will be sent to a clearing house with or without your permission in January 2014. That’s worse than some medical transcriptionist overseas threatening to make everyone’s medical records public if she does not get a raise.
Obama Care is not just very expensive insurance that most of us cannot and will not afford without drastic changes in lifestyle. It delivers lousy service, uncaring and poorly paid doctors, inadequate reimbursement, longer wait times, and selective rationing.
For people 65 and older, doctors who will accept Medicare and Medicaid will be harder to find and specialists even harder. These patients will be forced into a second class medical care akin to what I’ve witnessed growing up under socialist nationalized health care.
When more and more people will be forced into Medicaid and Medicare, costs will escalate and so will taxes to support care for 30 million more patients who were previously without insurance.
Because there are no eligibility requirements in place, Illegal aliens and those seeking asylum with a certain religious bent will receive free care ahead of the line based on age, increasing wait time and reducing the amount of money available for the treatment of American citizens.
The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will have to cut costs by approving or disallowing medical services based on how expensive they are, the age of the patient, and utility to society. Rationing will become an important factor in the quality, quantity, and expedience of our medical care.
If IPAB denies treatment, there is no appeal because IPAB is only accountable to President Obama. The courts or Congress cannot override that decision. At least under private health care insurance, if you are denied treatment, you have an appeal process in place to defend your ability to have treatment paid by your insurance plan.
If Medicare denies medical care, the patient is not allowed to pay cash to a Medicare-contracted doctor, hospital, or other health provider. Under such circumstances, a patient can seek care from an independent doctor or hospitals, which are harder and harder to find, or look for treatment outside of the United States.
It is foreseeable that by 2015, most private plans will be gone, replaced by a single-payer IRS/HHS government-run insurance.