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  • Side Effects: Doctors Fear Obamacare

    The American public doesn’t support Obamacare, and a new survey shows that doctors have an even worse opinion. No one has a better grasp on the state of the health care system than physicians, and according to the Doctors Company survey, 60 percent of them believe that Obamacare will have a negative impact on overall patient care. This survey is consistent with the findings of another doctor survey taken in October 2010, which also showed doctors’ lack of confidence in Obamacare.

    The survey was conducted to unveil physicians’ concerns about health care reform. The Doctors Company, which is the largest insurer of physician and surgeon medical liability in the nation, received more than 5,000 surveys, including all specialties and every region in the country. The results weren’t good for the President’s signature piece of legislation.

    Not only do doctors believe that Obamacare will not improve the health care system, they also anticipate that it will worsen the current condition. According to the survey, nine out of 10 physicians are unwilling to recommend health care as a profession to a family member, and one primary care physician even commented, “I would not recommend becoming an M.D. to anyone.”

    Obamacare doesn’t just discourage entrance into the medical profession; it encourages those who are already practicing to leave it. The survey states that “health care reform is motivating doctors to change their retirement timeline.” In fact, 43 percent of respondents said they are considering retiring within the next five years as a result of the law. A surgeon from Michigan wrote that under Obamacare, “We will be moving further away from humanity-based health care and more towards the patient as a commodity. This was not the way my father practiced—nor will I. Winding down to retire early.”

    Currently, the United States is on the brink of a severe physician shortage. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, by 2020, the nation will need an additional 91,500 doctors to meet medical demand. Dr. Donald J. Palmisano, former president of the American Medical Association, warns, “Today, we are perilously close to a true crisis as newly insured Americans enter the health care system and our population continues to age.” If current physicians leave the practice early because of the health law, the problem will be exacerbated even further.

    Finally, the survey revealed concerns that the health law will compromise the doctor-patient relationship. Slightly more than half of doctors surveyed believe “that increased bureaucracy is reducing the personal interaction with patients essential for building a close relationship and understanding the nature of patient health.”

    Under Obamacare, Heritage expert Robert Moffit writes, “physicians will be subject to more government regulation and oversight, and will be increasingly dependent on unreliable government reimbursement for medical services. Doctors, already under tremendous pressure, will only see their jobs become more difficult.” To reverse this trend, the U.S. needs health care reform that doctors and patients alike can eagerly support.

    Posted in Featured, Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    40 Responses to Side Effects: Doctors Fear Obamacare

    1. tocelp says:

      Here is the future:
      Nurses performing Brain Surgery, making minimum wage.
      Oh, wait, if this happens the Docs will not be wealthy (the 1%) anymore and the Government would not be able to tax them for all their earnings!

      • Bruce Becker says:

        Wait….Shanequa at the post office would be performing surgery or at least assisting…..EXCEPT "When she Be on (Gov mandated) Break"

        • yayaya says:

          Don't forget Shanequa's part of the Union, so she's probably getting paid to take extra breaks while the nurse is cutting major arteries.
          My father works for the Post Office, and would tell us how he'd sleep half his shift. Perfect example of how well the Gov't can manage any sort of business.
          Tocelp, I don't mind Docs getting big paychecks considering the schooling required, the amount they have to pay into malpractice insurance, and the fact that it's a high demand job. Don't like it? Should've gone to medical school.

          • Jay says:

            ive heard the same thing…a guy told me his father works for the post office and takes his time til its close to the end of the day and has to work OT to finish up…he does it on purpose to make that OT…his job is secure bc of the union…most unions r a joke and there making this country worse…they should be fighting for the hard workers doin there job like there supposed to…instead they just look to keep employeed so they still get there cut of the workers pay check…my cousin works for the parks department in NY part time and is considered a seasonal employee…the union is constantly tryin to get him to sign up with them but they wouldnt be able to do anything for him since hes a seasonal part time worker…his job wont be secure but they will get a cut of his pay check…90% of unions only care about the money they will be gettin…they need to fix the problem with the unions and it will help with the countries money issues…theres still alot that has to be done but they need to work on it 1 problem at a time…

    2. Micky Dennis says:

      Well, no DUH. As a physician, I can tell you when Obamacare passed, I immediately scrapped plans for a new office, and started planning when to shut down my satellite offices. I am a pediatrician, so I have no voice, no representation; the American Academy of Pediatrics is led by extreme leftists. When Obamacare passed, the AAP president was a former academic who had gotten into some trouble previously by emailing left wing propaganda to dorm students. On the AAP website, there were links which directed pediatricians to their Congressmen so that the doctors could urge them to vote for Health Reform. There was no mention of what was in the bill, and no link to voice opposition. There was no phone number to voice opposition. All articles in the AAP publications praised Obamacare- there were no negative opinions, no one allowed to question the democrats' version of healthcare reform. Many of the leadership of the AAP are also in the AMA, another group of academics who supported the bill. Their photos can be seen in the infamous White House Rose Garden photo op


      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        Doctor, what you failed to mention only about 15% of all MD's belong to AMA, as a nurse,I 've talked to family members in the profession as well s others I know and I have yet to find a practicingMD, regardless of field that is in favor of this monstorous bill. Insurance Companies can tim their cost and be past on to the medical profession and stop using people without a Medical license decide wht care or medicine a patient gets.

    3. robyn says:

      Obamacare, a misguided endeavor in increasing government's control over ital aspects of our lives has been and is more about control and taxing than about high quality health care. One only need read the number and amount of tax/fee associated with this monstrosity. If obamacare was a good thing, the notably self serving legislatures who thrust this upon us, would have been the first to sign up for it. But rather than embrace obamacare for themselves, they conspicuously exempted themselves. That is very telling!

    4. Stirling says:

      Doctors should fear obamacare, since in essence it is a "one size fits all" policy for everyone..It doesn't matter how much financial wealth you have to pay for a proceedure, you will not be able to be treated if the IPAB board rules that you cant have it, your out of luck. This is what has happened in all other countries that have similar healthcare in place, which is why those individuals come to the United States.

      Doctors will find that their ability to practice medicine will be severly compromised, and that the patients will become just a number rather then a person. Morally a doctor would be compromised to know that they could cure a problem but would face legal action if they don't comply with government saying "no."

      • Pragmatic says:

        This is not true. Obamacare makes everyone buy insurance and provides a government insurance option. This is not a medical review panel for each individual case.

        Also, people come here because we have some of the the best hospitals (we also have some terrible ones and have problems with hospital infections, see sepsis). But that is driven by outstanding hospitals and research facilities and not our overall healthcare system. That is, people aren't coming here for day-to-day treatments, but rather for state of the art cancer treatments and transplants.

        Further, "medical tourism" is becoming more and more popular. But in this case, Americans are leaving to go to places like Jakarta and New Delhi (link at end of post).

    5. wtobias says:

      but they were fine with it before it became law they stood by and supported the bill , now they back peddle

      • RN 4 life says:

        That was the AMA aristocratic academics- NOT the practicing Physicians; The National Nurses Association are beginning to backpedal, too- unfortunately some of the Big Healthcare Unions still can't see the writing on the wall. I have worked as a nurse on the Canadian border for over 20 years, and have heard horror stories from many who have sought care here. Thoughtful reform would eliminate regulations and layers of bureaucracy, rely on MD skills, not "experts" who have political agendas and little clinical expertise. I am looking to retire, and believe I will not receive the kind of care I've provided to hundreds of patients when I get old(er) and sick.

        • Jeanne Stotler says:

          I have heard the stories as well, I worked with some Canadian and English nurses who were so surprised with the access of care we have here, I believe that our doctors deserve to practice medicine without some bureaucrat who didn't go to Med school, teling them how to do their job, wouldbe like a nurses aide telling me how to do my job.

      • Karl Stecher says:

        Physicians (majority) were NEVER fine with the law. Even the AMA: When Obama came to the national meeting in June 2009, discussed it, and specifically failed to support tort reform as a part of the proposed law, AMA doctor representatives voted AGAINST it. A month or so later, seeing that the AMA would have no voice if they didn't communicate, the AMA executive committee sent a letter to Congress stating that they would give their input. I do not believe the letter said that the AMA supported it, but it might have.
        Only 15% of practicing physicians belong to the AMA…so it can never say it speaks for physicians.
        Further, the AMA has a recent history of failing to support physicians who are attacked by hospitals when they advocate for their patients, by standing up against poor care, and also exposing dishonest billing practices of hospitals.

      • hologram5 says:


    6. Sally says:

      Have you noticed there are no nurse practitioners or physicians' assistance in the Veterinary world. Your dog actually gets to see the Dr.! We'd be bette r off to be bleed by the Barber or checked by a real Dr. even if it is a vet. Unless the MD received his education for free, they spend years to pay off all their loans. Which is why the foreign Docs are so prevelent. Their education was funded at our expense. Enough is enough. I for one have had enough!

      • Pragmatic says:

        What are you talking about? Foreign doctors don't go med school for free (in the US at least). They take out the same loans that everyone else does and they go through the same competitive admissions process that others do.

        • saveamerica says:

          How can we find out what percentage of America's immigrants are living independently without depending on government as any resource to their livelihoods? The immigrants America invites and what Americans expect.

          • chris says:

            "How can we find out what percentage of America's immigrants are living independently without depending on government as any resource to their livelihoods?"

            Every single American relies on some part of the government's resources..this question is erroneous. Think about the fire department? Police? Education? Social Security? Parks? Roads???

      • jessica says:

        PA's and nurse practitioners get a degree JUST LIKE DOCTORS do. They are not any less efficient, they just don't have the SAME degree! They pay TONS of money for the education they received. You're ignorance is offensive.

    7. Bobbie says:

      why are they anxious on pushing out doctors who vow to the Hippocratic oath? Are code of ethics now personal and preferential depending on nationality and priced according to? which makes it a private practice and not a tax funded public service!

      Too many immigrants were poorly influenced by government from the beginning that leads them to fear freedom and self reliance and look to government not realizing (whether under the government medical practice or patient oneself) the government provides the lowest of quality no human life deserves. Much more respected by self governing.

      "oh I have to go to the government today!" "Have to make a government appointment." come on people. there are doctors, then there is government control, regulations, mandates, decisions, intrusions, invasions, of privacy, complications, confusions, that intentionally ration the care of doctors. The only doctors that can be trusted are the ones that fear Obama's controlled health care agenda called… what's it called today?

    8. George says:

      Alyene, your blogs on Obamacare are top notch. I check daily for new posts. In my professional opinion, you are rapidly becoming the foremost authority on healthcare reform.

    9. TAD says:

      As evidence of this, my personal physician quit practice last week because of Obamacare. I live in a rural area and will have to travel to find another good physician. This monstrosity must not stand.

    10. Pragmatic says:

      If I remember correctly, the individual mandate was promoted by Heritage (p.6 of this http://s3.amazonaws.com/thf_media/1990/pdf/bg777….. Granted, Heritage promoted the much superior model where households are required to purchase insurance and not the employers. So, given that information, it seems like the same problem would have happened under Heritage's plan.

      Also, with everyone insured insurance companies will have greater bargaining power and can take some margin away from pharmaceutical companies (who charge outrageous prices) [http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2009/performers/industries/profits/].

      On the shortage of doctors point, maybe the government should incentivize people to go to Medical school. The amount of debt new doctors have to pay off could potentially put upward pressure on prices (I don't know if it does or not, but i makes sense intuitively).

      In all seriousness, it seems that the problem is controlling the costs of our healthcare system (which was a problem before the Affordable Care Act). I'd love to hear Heritage's thoughts (and not talking points).

      • Bobbie says:

        under heritage it was promoted by the people! under government it's being forced on the people. Government taking over our control. as far as the shortage of doctors, the last doctor to trust is one that's influenced by government in control outside of ones own. Free market and self governing are good incentives.

        costs are the problem and when government stepped in to take the responsibility of oversight government failed to live up to the responsibility, still taking costs for pretension only many years ago just for set up to take the whole system. Why would anyone trust this, that and the deceiving? how sad!

    11. I retired earlier from my surgical practice due to the passage of Obama Care in 2010. The sellout of doctors by the American Medical Association which supported a law which not even politicians who voted "yes" knew was a tragic misjustice to the American people. This law is not only unconstitutional it is anti medicine because of the government intrusion into the Doctor-patient relationship.
      If the government can mandate the purchase insurance, it can also mandate the early termination of life and liberty. Physicians will be hard pressed to keep up with demand with a shrinking number of doctors required to care for millions more patients. The term "shovel ready" will apply to the elderly demanding more health care dollars. Abortion will be less needed for health of women, but more needed for population control of certain non productive segments of society. Congress and white house politicians and certain favorable unions are exempt
      From this Obama – Democrat nightmare.

    12. Miles Brumberg, DO says:

      I have been practicing Family Medicine since 1982 but for the last several years part time because I cannot afford full time malpractice insurance premiums. Because I do not have an Electronic Medical Record system in my office nor do I have an Electronic Prescribing capability I will be penalized by Uncle Sam by having my Medicare reimbursement reduced until I do have these in place. I am 61 and am not interested in investing all this money in such things as I hope to be able to retire in the not too distant future if I can put some money away so that Uncle Sam isn't able to confiscate it which it appears is becoming more and more likely under our current president. Even if he is defeated, provisions of Obamacare are set to go into effect like a bomb with a time delayed fuse resulting in more and more damage to healthcare and the economy unless it can be repealed in its entirety. Medical coding is becoming more and more difficult to perform with any degree of accuracy to insure proper reimbursement as it always has been. Government intrusion. Insurance company intrusion. Legal intrusion. All of these conspire to drain the life out of physicians struggling to keep up with the changes that seem to come each and every day.

      • Guest says:

        Perhaps best to retire with that attitude. With health care changes it sounds like this is the best decision for you as you do not seem to want to make sure your patients have the latest life saving technology trying to avoid medical errors and having everyone on the same page HOWEVER we are all not the same page which them presents the problem with Obamacare but it was actually Richard Nixon that brought this concept back from China in the 70s.

        • Guest says:

          So much for democracy eh with moderation. We all must have the same opinion. Pod society.

    13. Doctor Dave says:

      Many of the physicians that I know will retire earlier than planned, just as I have because of the planned changes in medical care under the Obama health law mandates. Socialism is ready to take over what is the most advanced healthcare in the world in order to control access to care by limiting the number of doctors required to service the mandates in the law. Your health plan and your doctor will change and be controlled by the federal government's one payer system. Costs will triple even with restriction ordered by the committee due to less free care given by doctors and hospitals.

    14. Eric Nisula says:

      This is a distant menacing drum beat that will grow into a technicolor nightmare. By then
      it will be too late for the myriad of FOOLS who believed Obama's lies.

    15. tracey says:

      I guess everyone is to young to recall the original reason people became doctors. TO HELP PEOPLE. I am getting a kick out of these, I am just quitting my job stories. If your a doc and are so quick to l, youeave your patieints behind , your in it for the wrong reasons. Buh bye! Have fun with your fat retirement.

      • Erik says:

        Tracy I became a physician to help people. I did not invest 13 years of my life post high school to work for the government and jump through their hoops. I was a military physician for 11 years and have been in the private sector for 8. I can tell you that socialized medicine (military), which is in fact the Obamacare endgame, is hopelessly inefficient, impersonal and inferior to our traditional model. A large number of doctors will choose retirement a few years early. Some will simply op out of the system and go cash only (which will be the most cost effective care available). If enough do each of those things what will happen? Will we brain-drain the rest of the world to fill our physician shortage? Will they still want to come join our system and failing economy? Will you only get to see a doctor after passing through a gauntlet of non-physician providers? Will the government totally drop all pretense and tyranically force doctors to play in their system or lose their license (as has been suggested in the Commonwealth of Mass.)? You don't really have a right to presume you know the motives of why people went into medicine or judge their reasons for leaving.

    16. Tina says:

      Tracey, I think you fail to understand that is the reason so many are leaving. They will only be able to help the patients the government allows them to treat. All recommended treatments will have to be approved by a government representative. Insurance companies have for years approved or disapproved certain medications. Doctors who do not participate will be penalized financially. They may be in medicine to help people but they must make money to stay in business as well as make a living. Medical School is not cheap and takes years to complete.

    17. jonie says:

      Its as if insurance companies do not regulate what they will and will not pay for. What is covered and what is not. Yet, no one is challenging the insurance company. Does anyone truely understand why medical insurance is sooooooo expensive? I ask you to just ask yourself these few questions " who gains the most from medical cost steadly rising? if you really have no idea here are a couple of hints…if you have a chance to watch the stock market ticker tape you will see that medical insurance and pharmaceutical companies are never or hardly ever in the RED, they stay in the green when most other companies are in the red…why is that? All you have to do is FOLLOW THE MONEY…
      I work in a hospital and what most people don't know is that you are already paying for those who do not have medical insurance. Don't think for one minute that a person who is ill will not come to the ER because he/she does not have insurance…think again. That person may have an income but can't pay a huge premium, but he can pay some premium based upon his/her income, so he pays that amount.
      It does not take a genious to figure this out..its common sense. Whatever happen to common sense?

    18. My doctor told me he is looking for another line of work for his semi-retirement. Being a physician will no longer pay enough to take the risks and endure the stresses of making life and death decisions for other people. But he has many good years left so he will find other ways to help people and supplement his retirement from medicine.

    19. Doggwood says:

      I'd never discussed politics with my doctor, but he was talking about Obamacare with serious concern. The quick summary was, from his perspective, it inserted a lot of micromanagement into his practice and impeded his ability to work freely with patients. He noted that a lot of people figured they were good at navigating bureaucratic waters so they didn't expect to find their medical options limited and controlled, but those people were in for an unpleasant surprise.

    20. Rajah says:

      I respect the physicians professions and I have an interest in respecting your positions, but I have read several posts and none of you have explained HOW the health care reform is negatively impacting your professions. I also took notice that many of you have not revealed how the current conditions appear to be working well for anyone but your financial projections. I believe you all have the right to be concerned about your financial future as much as anyone else, but I would like to know more about why you feel the way you do, with some credible sources that highlight exactly how this will hurt you.

    21. gee says:

      Funny how Rajah scared away all of the retiring doctors with his respectful inquisitive post. Why haven't there been any replies? I would love to i.e. as well….

    22. Second Career says:

      Time to speak up M.D.s. Do whatever you can to right this sinking ship. Even if you find it hard to love Romney, the country will be immeasurably better with Obama out of office.

      All this stuff matters, even if you make the very understandable, but sad, decision to leave the profession.

      Make a campaign contribution, voice your concerns to anyone who will listen, and vote for Republican congressional representatives. We're in very big trouble.

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