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  • Top Five Reasons Obamacare Is Bad for Doctors

    The Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision is expected next week, but it’s important to remember that the constitutionality of the law’s individual mandate isn’t the only concern. Several surveys have revealed that doctors have a negative view of the law and its impact on the practice of medicine. Here are five ways Obamacare will harm doctors:

    1. Adds more patients to Medicaid. Beginning in 2014, Obamacare dumps an additional 19.6 million Americans into Medicaid. On average, Medicaid physician payments are only 56 percent of what private insurance pays. Lower payment rates already discourage doctors from accepting Medicaid beneficiaries, which has lead to access issues and hospital emergency room overcrowding. As more patients enroll in this broken program, it will place even more financial strain on physicians who treat them. Doctors will be faced with the decision to either discontinue treating Medicaid patients or accept even more patients at the lower payment rate.
    2. Leaves the flawed Medicare payment formula on the books. Every year, doctor payments face the threat of deep cuts due to the Sustainable Growth Rate formula, which governs the growth of Medicare physician payments from year to year. But it’s well known that such drastic provider payment cuts would harm seniors’ access to care, and Congress has passed a last minute “doc fix” each year since 2003 to avoid this. Still, an estimated payment reduction of 27 percent is scheduled to go into effect next year unless Congress passes another doc fix, which will cost an estimated $208 billion. This problem faces doctors and Congress every year, and Obamacare does nothing to solve it.
    3. Creates a new board to further cut provider payments. Obamacare uses the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats, to contain cost growth in Medicare by finding ways to cut spending to meet a new budget target. The board is limited in how it can achieve its goal, but one avenue definitely available is to further ratchet down provider payments. As IPAB cuts reimbursements, seniors will experience growing access problems as doctors discontinue seeing Medicare beneficiaries. If IPAB elects to limit seniors’ access to certain treatments and services—which is also within its abilities—patient choice and physician autonomy will also be sacrificed.
    4. Exacerbates future physician shortage. America is projected to face a shortage of 91,500 doctors in 2020. Meanwhile, many surveys have concluded that American doctors have a negative view of Obamacare and its impact on the medical field. One survey found that Obamacare is motivating 43 percent of doctors to move up their retirement within the next five years. This will intensify the already existing doctor shortage.
    5. Destroys the doctor-patient relationship. Obamacare’s massive amount of red tape and regulations will tear apart the doctor-patient relationship. Doctors will have to focus increasingly on government rules rather than the specific needs of their patients. Heritage’s Bob Moffit warns that Obamacare’s great expansion of government coverage will make physicians “increasingly dependent on unreliable government reimbursement for medical services.” In addition, Obamacare links payment for providers to adherence to government measurements of care. A recent doctor survey found that 67 percent of doctors surveyed said Obamacare would not improve the doctor-patient relationship.

    As Moffit states, “No class of American professionals will be more negatively impacted by [Obamacare] than physicians. To watch Heritage’s video of one doctor’s personal experience with Obamacare, click here.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    76 Responses to Top Five Reasons Obamacare Is Bad for Doctors

    1. The Obamacare is in violation of our constitution and people's right to choose. another one of our right being widdle away.

      • Kevin says:

        Turns out it's not unconstitutional, huh?

        And exactly which "right" is being taken away?

        • dave says:

          ummmm, our right to choose. (where are the pro-choice feminists here?

        • James says:

          It violates the 10th amendment, which is a right being taken away. With Obamacare, we will no longer be able to choose our doctors and treatment. Everything will be controlled by the government.

          • Derek says:

            Not true .. we will have more choice. More private companies will come into marketplace which will offer better rates then all the insurance companies. The insurance companies do not care about the patients or doctors. they only care about there share holders.
            Most of the doctors who were in solo practice are unable to continue working because the insurance companies won't pay. The patients are also unhappy.

            • mike says:

              Maybe they should improve the education system. The lack of the correct use of words in the English language is astonishing. The math congress used when they came up with this uncontrollable care act was the worst. A zero tax bill turned into $800b overnight.

          • Alex Onymous says:

            I object to that actually,
            In the bill there is a section on "Patient's bill of rights" and it does mention doctor choices. Specifically: "The Affordable Care Act helps preserve your choice of doctors by guaranteeing that you can choose the primary care doctor or pediatrician you want from your health plan’s provider network. It guarantees that you can see an OB-GYN doctor without needing a referral from another doctor. The law also ensures that you can seek emergency care at a hospital outside your plan’s network without prior approval from your health plan."

            So no, it does not limit your choice at all. In fact it broadens your choices.

            • darthvader says:

              exactly, I don't understand how people say doctors will be hurt either. They will have guaranteed patients. Besides, doctors already make more than most people in the world. How will taking a cut put a financial strain on them?

            • hello says:

              I don't mind that my doctors make more money. They go though many years of difficult school and training. Doctors deserve every penny they earn, money is an incentive to work hard!

            • Wake up says:

              Doctors work extremely hard to keep everyone healthy to the best of their ability. The education they endure is very intense and very competitive. You do realize most medical students are about/over $100,000 in debt after they complete their training?? You think life is good after they graduate? NO. It takes a long time to generate the wealth that you are thinking of. How are you to say that this cut will NOT create a financial strain for them?

            • Taffy Davenport says:

              The AMA makes the determination as to how many students are admitted to medical schools. Since many are cut because of the numbers, the AMA need only adjust their numbers if more doctors retire.
              @Wake up, wake up. First of all most medical students have much more than 100K of debt upon graduation. 100K of student debt today is nothing. A good friend of mine is an ER Surgeon. You'd be surprised to know that we discovered he makes less today than what an average general practitioner makes in the UK, which is 100% government run healthcare. Couple this with an average medical claim only receiving 33% on the amount billed, with nearly 80% having errors… tell me why this will put a financial strain on a bloated system insurance companies created? Insurance companies bank on people not contesting what they pay to providers. So, you get the bill or the provider writes it off, all so the insurance company can save a couple of bucks. And what do we pay per capita for healthcare in this country? Twice was the second pays in the industrialized nation. And we're also not in the top ten healthiest. Coincidence that they are socialized medicine systems.

      • Derek says:

        I have private insurance and work for a good company. Employer pays 50% for the coverage. I pay the rest which is close to $ 400 a month for a family of 4.
        With high deductable and co-payment .. i find myself paying close to $10,000 a year for coverage and other expenses. My physician has to treat me in a such a way that my insurance company agrees with plan of treatment.

        If I have a choice of a market place which would reduce my cost of healthcare and doctors hands are not tied by the insurance company — I will go for obama care.

      • darthvader says:

        If there is a violation of any constitutional rights, the supreme court will handle it. They always have. How does it violate the right to choose? Every American citizen chooses when they go to vote. They vote for their local representatives, their congressmen, their president. That's how democracy works.

    2. Raz Lemons says:

      Just what Americans need, Medical advice from a rightwing thinktank, The AMA ( American Medical Association ) disagrees with every one of the Heritages top 5 talking points .

      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        Th AMA represents less than 15% of practicing physicians, these are bueracrats, not practicing doctors who see patients o a daily basis. I quit hospital nursing as I ad to spend more time on paper work than patient care. I became a nurse to care fo the sick not push papers.

        • betty says:

          Paperwork overload is not just in the medical profession. bureaucrats are causing an increase in non-job related work in all professions. I am an educator and we are required to complete paperwork after teaching. There is usually not enough time during the day to complete paperwork tasks during the school day, especially if you want to do your job of teaching. Obamacare did not increase your paperwork, that was already increased prior to this starting.

    3. Scott Dunn says:

      So why not globalize healthcare? http://www.counterpunch.org/2009/08/04/why-don-t-

      If "free trade" is so great for cars, clothes, electronics and technical support, then it should be a massive boon for healthcare recipients. Think about it. If we paid the same amount per person for healthcare as every other industrialized nation, we'd be looking at giant surpluses not deficits.

      Can anyone explain why American doctors on average earn twice as much as their European or Japanese counterparts? How can they command such high incomes even when their outcomes are at best, the same as other industrialized countries?

      If they lack competition, there's no reason for them to improve the way they deliver care. Foreign competition is the best way to get them thinking about the rest of us.

      • Todd says:

        Scott – you probably have never traveled outside of this country or naive at best. Japan has become an industrial giant by copying and then improving American manufacturing practices. Henry Ford is credited with turning mass production into an industrial dynasty – not Europe or Asia or any other part of the world.

        America has historically been the driving force in pushing the rest of the globe into the industrial age. American doctor's make more because they do a better job as a whole then any other country's medical system. I have been in hospitals around the world, some of them are like walking into a 1950's era hospital, some are like the 1990's.

        America has the best health care because of several factors – education, research, facilities and innovation through American entrepreneurship. Globalization is not a bad thing, but it will start here and spread. Other countries will copy us and maybe even improve upon it. But at least the education and facilities that are in that country have to be able to support the efforts.

        • Todd says:

          If government stays out of it!

        • Ed. S says:

          "America has the best health care because of several factors – education, research, facilities and innovation through American entrepreneurship" …The only problem with that statement is the US does not have the best healthcare or education. I do not know about research enough to say where we as Americans stand there.
          New York, NY, June 23, 2010—Despite having the most expensive health care system, the United States ranks last overall compared to six other industrialized countries—Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom—on measures of health system performance in five areas: quality, efficiency, access to care, equity and the ability to lead long, healthy, productive lives, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. While there is room for improvement in every country, the U.S. stands out for not getting good value for its health care dollars, ranking last despite spending $7,290 per capita on health care in 2007 compared to the $3,837 spent per capita in the Netherlands, which ranked first overall.

          Our nation's graduating high school class of 2011 had a 32 percent proficiency rate in math and a 31 percent proficiency rate in reading, leaving many to question whether schools are adequately preparing students for the 21st century global economy, says a new report. U.S. students fall behind 31 countries in math proficiency and behind 16 countries in reading proficiency, according to the recent study, "Globally Challenged: Are U.S. Students Ready to Compete?" by Harvard's Program on Education Policy and Governance.

          • Ryno says:

            As a physician who has spent considerable amounts of time in foreign countries I can unquestionably say that your statements about America's health system are flat-out false. We DO have one of the best healthcare systems in the world, and one of the MAJOR reasons why we do have more expensive care is strictly because of our heavy use of technology. There are good reasons why the world sends their medical students and physician to learn at our universities here – because the U.S. offers a medical education and system that has no comparison in the world. Our medical facilities, when compared to countries such as Japan, the U.K., etc. are more advanced, newer, larger, and can accommodate patients needs far better. Also, the above poster is correct in the ares of research – we do lead the world in medical research – specifically in biomedical research..

            The W.H.O. report that you quoted is based heavily on ACCESS – and little on quality – so it's no surprise the U.S. ranked lower. And further, the differences between the industrialized nations was very, very little when the total scores where tallied.

            A HUGE majority of the physicians and administrators that I work with are very leery of what ObamaCare will do to our medical system – it won't be pretty. That's not to say our current system isn't in need of huge reforms – it is…but what we got in the form of ObamaCare was one of the worst options we could have ended up with.

            • Evv says:

              THANK YOU! Not enough doctors are speaking up. Why are we all listening to politicians so much. Why aren't we listening to doctors who actually WORK in the healthcare system and understand patients needs/ concerns. Doctors are the ones who have to figure out how to give care AND within financial constraints. They are the ones who actually have our best interests at heart! Not once do I hear politicians discussing concerns and recommendations of physicians!

            • ant says:

              Bad(incompetent) doctors are paid the same as the best. That is not the free-market. Do away with all 3rd party payers and let the market set the price, as it does in plastic surgery.

            • janisjoplin says:

              From Wikipedia: "Unlike many other countries, US medical students finance their education with personal debt. In 1992, the average debt of a medical doctor after residency was $25,000. For the class of 2009, the average debt of a medical student is $157,990 and 25.1% of students had debt in excess of $200,000 (prior to residency). For the past decade the cost of attendance has increased 5-6% each year (roughly 1.6 to 2.1 times inflation).

              No one in their right mind will become a doctor if they have to get into huge debt and never get the salary needed to climb out of it. Either pay off doctor debt or quit whining about how much doctors make. They work harder than anyone to get where they are and have to risk their own financial future to do so.

        • Kevin says:

          "America has the best health care" — By what measure?

          We have to stop deluding ourselves with statements like this. We do not have the best healthcare, and by most measures we are severely lagging when compared to other industrialized nations. From infant mortality to life expectancy we are falling short…and paying MUCH more for it.

          Just google "American healthcare ranking" and you will find numerous studies and articles. We can't fix a problem until we acknowledge it exists.

          We are a great country, but we are not the best at everything just because we are Americans. It's time for a reality check.

      • bob says:

        Over the seas doctors do not have to attend college as long as American doctors do, on average doctors over seas only spend around 4-5 years in college while in America the average is 7-8 years. They demand such high income to pay off the extra time in college

        • cAn says:

          also most other countries send their doctors to school for free. Not here. Also many are selected for medical school right out of secondary school (high school). I thought America was the land of opportunity. Anyone who works hard enough here can make it into med school lets see that acomplished elsewhere. Finally where do all heads of countries and wealthy individuals obtain there healthcare. Here in the US

      • Meness says:

        Well that is completely legal, but it takes forever to be treated other places, and the doctors in Europe are no the best and brightest. The highly intelegent will want nothing to do with it and go into other fields. Why would all the rich people on earth come to America for healthcare otherwise

      • Berenese says:

        AMEN!!!! exactly my thoughts reading this article. AAwww poor doctors have to get a pay cut in their 6 figure salaries…so sad.

    4. Jeanne Stotler says:

      As a nurse , I've talked to a lot of MD's who do not like OBama care, they want to treat their patients without some outsider with no knowlede of medicine telling them what they can or can't do in treating and prescribing for their patients Paperworkis gettng ut of hand, requiring more staff to andle all this needless BS. We need to go back to sensible medicine, doctors prescribe, patients pay for routine care, lower price as less staff is needed. In the 50's when I went to the doctor's or took one of my children, I paid for the office visit, Insurance was called HOSPITALIZATON, it was used for emergency care and hospital care, Rx's were not priced at an arm and a leg Goverment has made all go up. Health dept's gave routine shots to the poor, churches took care of having food banks and gov't. did not have a say. Those were the good old days. By the way I have 9 adult children that my late husband and I paid for including parochial school.

      • Barbara Steffek says:

        Precisely – the good old days before the kind of health insurance we have now. We got certain shots for free, Rx's were reasonable – marketing by Big Pharma was unheard of. Office visits were actually cheap, and often a pharmacist could suggest a med or remedy that did the job. The health insurance certainly recognized a huge cash cow when it saw one.

        • pat funke says:

          The problem is that it's NOT the 50's anymore. We couldn't afford the 'office' visits nowdays…not at 100-150./visit. The docs arent' willing to lower their fees…that's why they overcharge insurance companies to make up for what the 'government' feels that Medicare should be billed for. It's a different world now. Gas wasn't 4.00/gal, and people could afford to send their kids to the schools of their choice. There is no right answer now. We are screwed and until we revolt as a nation, the economy will get worse….with Obama, with Romney, with Johnson (whoever he is!!!). Where has he been? I keep hearing his name, but not good enough to have his name mentioned in the running. I know it takes $$ to run, but it's sad that only the wealthiest can afford that. As long as we honor sportsman, and stars and politicians more than the average life of us humans, we will not fair any better with anyone. My doctor is getting ready to leave medicine because of the beaurocracy which will leave my area without an arthritis specialist…..we will have to drive 3 hrs to the nearest…..at 4.00/gal gas…..we are really screwed!!!

    5. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      Point 2 on Medicare's SGR goes to the broader point of promised spending cuts…they never materialize because they think it's political suicide. Remember this the next time politicians promise 10 year cuts of X or Y to programs A or B. Real leaders will campaign on real spending cuts, not just cuts in growth rates, and make them in the same term. The longer they wait the harder it will be.

    6. finishstrongdoc says:

      Fifteen years ago, I was telling people this would be where the road ends for Liberty. Every time some Leftist Regime tried to force a nurse to do immoral "assistance" at an abortion, or tried to force a pharmacist to dispense abortafacient drugs, you knew, if you were really thinking, that it would have to come to this. You have to give the devil his due; his ground game has been pretty slick.

    7. Damon says:

      What is next selling live person's organs for profit? Little by little freedoms are taken away. Many Doctors oppose this law. Older americans want to go to their doctor of choice. Not a doctor of the governments choosing. With many doctors retiring who will train the next class of doctors? The beureaucrats?

    8. Thegoodman says:

      The 5 things listed here are complete crap.
      #5 is laughable and based on nothing.
      #4 has NOTHING to do with Obamacare, and everything to do with a physician shortage. Having too few doctors is not a problem properly addressed via fewer patients. People still need healthcare, people still exist, limiting their access to doctors doesn't fix the problem.
      #3 "If IPAB elects to limit seniors’ access to certain treatments and services" talk about propaganda. So "IF X happens, and if Y happens, and if Z happens, the world will end! Everyone get scared!!" Stop with your fear mongering.
      #2 and #1 are the same thing. Those poor old doctors are going to now only make $250k a year and not $400k. My own wife is a doctor and I think doctors are over payed. No other profession offers such high starting salaries and freedom. Getting sympathy for a doctor's income is a hard thing to get, please fish elsewhere.

      • James says:

        I doubt your wife is really a doctor, or you would know that most doctors pay well over HALF of their income to taxes and malpractice insurance. With Obamacare, that will only go up. I am a PA and I since I don't pay as many ridiculous fees, I only make about $10K less than the doctor I work with. Do some research, buddy.

      • cshow853061 says:

        You Sir have no understanding of the medical profession. you claim here that your wife is a doctor. I am a 23 year old college student and will be entering medical school within a few years (I actually may decide not to go to medical school because of Obamacare). I also have a father who is a vascular surgeon and a mother who is an anesthesiologist. They are both considering retiring early because of Obamacare. If your wife is in fact a doctor then you are aware of the exorbitant medical malpractice insurance premiums that doctors pay. An OB-GYN in many areas of Florida pay medical malpractice premiums near $100k. I am not aware of the average salary for OB-GYNs for different areas of florida however I know that 100k is a large chunk of their salary. The bottom-line is that private medical practice is a business and when expenses exceed income a business cannot work. Many doctors will not be able to afford to stay in business with increases in taxes, medical malpractice, and lower compensation by insurance companies. As for your comment that doctors are overpaid… you obviously have no clue about the sacrifices that doctors make and leads me to believe that you fabricated your comment about your wife being a doctor. I feel compelled to rebut the rest of your misguided sensationalist assertions about why doctors don't deserve to be paid well and how 'easy' their lives are but I don't believe there is a point, in trying to make a point, to a liberal lunatic.

        • hpn says:

          If malpractice insurance is that expensive and hospitals are charging inflated fees for services so that they can get adequately paid by insurance companies or medicare, which ultimately ends up costing the patient since insurance companies do everything they can not to pay, is the affordable care act really the problem?

      • TrollStomper says:

        Your last point clearly exposes you. Few make $400k. Most near $150 to $175 with over $125 in debt and climbing. So the next important question: what do u do for a living that's so important say compared to a surgeon? You think your salary is Overinflated? Probably not. Keep failing and hating. Obama needs more trolls.

      • Larry says:

        They also have the most demanding training, work 90+ hours per week and devote their early adult and middle adult years to healing the sick. 250,000 a year. I wouldnt dare be a doctor for that. Most others wont either. Good luck when a govt panel dictates your care instead of a medical professional. I'm an RN in a lung and heart transplant center. I'm going back to school to prepare for my upcoming salary cut. Why would anyone go through the trouble to be in the medical field under obamacare. There is much easier work with higher income potentials to be had. Good luck to all.

    9. Kay says:

      Try going to school for an additional 12 – 13 years, and then graduating with a $300,000 loan to repay. Not to mention 80 – 120 hr work weeks. People seriously have NO idea what goes into being a physician. Ignorant people!

      • Future Physician says:

        thank you. i cannot believe everyone above has such foolish comments. people hastily think doctors make oodles of money. [income tax] [repay tuition] [malpractice insurance] these factors destroy a six figure income. surgeons end up making hourly around what a teacher makes.
        on top of income, the residency 80 hours a week, and sacrifice of social life makes becoming a doctor even more harsh. Please people show some respect.
        I have no clue how america is demonizing doctors now.
        We make doctors our enemies and now they get paid even less in obamacare? [yes they lose money treating medicaremedicaid patients]

        Its no wonder we are speculating a enormous deficit in physicians!

        • stolen future says:

          The only people who still get $400K/year are radiologists and some super specialized specialties. Anyone that people have to go to regularly make less than the healthcare administrators now involved in herding them. I myself spent greater than 16 years training to be a specialist and gave back to the system to boot. Once I finally made a real paycheck (greater than the $38K i got as a PGY7), I paid about 35-38% of it to income tax, not to mention other overhead. So – I'm shopping around how to leave this mad system and thankless society while people like Thegoodman can go ahead and shop for healthcare in the global market. I think only then will the American People and the hospitals and mega insurance company executives understand what they had when they had it. Of course those insurance company executives will be able to go to Switzerland, Costa Rica, India, Singapore, China or wherever else has the latest medical advances and the best physicians. It won't be here. And then will the American public really begin to understand the true cost of a disorganized, bureaucratic, non-physician run healthcare system made up of the mediocre who could give less of a crap whether you're having chest pain at 2 AM. Just line up to see your NP in the morning (if you can get in). She'll get right on it.

      • Hannah K says:

        I am not a physician but work closely with them. For the most part, every physician I know deserves the salary that they earn. Is it not worth it to save lives every day? They are making choices that affect you, me and your family. We are worth what we put into ourselves. If I had attended college for 12 years, I would expect to be paid for my intelligence and work.

      • kory says:

        Amen Kay. Doctors deserve their hard earned pays. Left wingers need to get out and make their own money. They need to stop hating on people who worked hard for their lives.

      • Jennifer S. says:

        ABSOLUTELY agree. If I dedicated half my life to my education and career I expect to be compensated for it. Otherwise who is going to spend 12-14 years on their education (and 10+ years in experience for some) if they're making the same amount as someone with a Bachelors with no school loans, 40 hr work weeks, and Government holidays. Some people really need to stop being rude, half of the people I know do not want to become MDs anymore because of Obamacare. It's actually really sad where we will be in a few years…

      • MD-in-training says:

        Couldn't agree with you more.

      • Andrew Bjerregaard says:

        My dad is a doctor who graduated from UW-Madison, and my brother is in medical school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My sister graduated from UW-Madison as an Industrial Engineer, and I am a senior pursuing a degree in Industrial Engineering at UW-Madison. My whole family is for Obamacare. You know why? We actually understand that money doesn't buy happiness. Take it from a family that has plenty of money. Having an extra few million dollars does not make life much better. We should care for disabled and elderly people. We should care for the people who need the money the most. Why are there so many people fighting to make the rich more rich? It makes no sense to me. Send me an email at the school email that I have provided…

        • Tom says:

          Money does not bring happiness ,but
          If you pay peanuts you will get monkeys.
          A low compensation for any kind of work keeps away smart people
          And if you already know this not all doctors are same
          Because there are really smart and dumb ones.
          Do you really want some dumb person who just follows guidelines to be your doctor when you are ill

      • Lea says:

        Physicians need to create a union and walk out like all the nurses and teachers. Most idiots believe doctors hang out on yachts all day. Nothing, absolutely nothing is harder, more expensive and more taxing than becoming and working as a doctor. Believe otherwise and you're just plain ignorant.

      • Beth says:

        Thank you. Yes! And that in addition to that the annual cost of malpractice insurance, given the amount of hours per week most doctors work and the amount of liability they incur, their salaries are really not very high.

        When you hear someone makes a few hundred thousand dollars per year, that sounds like a lot–but people who aren't non-physicians have no idea of the amount of money it takes to become and remain a physhician. It is not remotely as lucrative a job as the general public believes.

    10. waggie says:

      Ok guys how about this….if you are age 65 years or older and have contribute to society Medicare will pay the reasonable amount to a doctor. No more Medicaid for the working class, no more paying for babies, can't pay for your own kids keep your legs close. I do believe if everyone took responsible for their own care and their own medical cost, cost would go down. I am a middle class women age 39 and i do have health insurance that i pay for myself at the tune of 587 a month for the family of three. I could for go health insurance drive a nicer vehicle have better vacations but i have never expected anyone else to pay my bills.

      • Samantha says:

        Well that's a little rude don't you think? And what you pay for a family of 3 is probably less than some one my age has to pay for just themselves.

    11. Chris says:

      What is the basis for the claim that the IPAB can limit seniors' access to certain treatments and services? The law very clearly states that the IPAB cannot "restrict benefits" on page 490:

      "(ii) The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or
      Medicare beneficiary premiums under section 1818,
      1818A, or 1839, increase Medicare beneficiary cost-
      sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria."

      Heritage provides no basis for its claim that the IPAB can limit access to treatment options. There is nothing in the law giving the IPAB that power; in fact, it is expressly forbidden from doing that. Heritage seems to be trying to give an intellectual veneer to the hysterical claims of "death panels" and "rationing" from the far right, attempting to mislead Americans by making these outlandish lies seem respectable.

      • Isabel says:

        The reform will add more people to the medicare program but also cut spending to the program. This means the medicare will have very limited economic resources and will have to even more carefully make financial decisions. This would mean that they will cut back on running certain tests and doing certain procedures. It isn't that they are limiting access to options, it is that they will no longer have the resources to spend the money.

    12. Brian says:

      I'm a physician, and if u think doctors are over paid it because of money they get from private insurance not from Medicare which pays 20 % of what private pays…… Obama care pushes us to a single payer system and if u think I'm going to work just as hard as I do now for 20 % of what I make currently , think again. All of u can swallow what ever the media and current president say and see what happens…….. Get ready for waiting days in the emergency room and months before u can see a doc because they will be employed by the state and shift workers……. No need to stay late and do elective surgery cases that can be done next month….. Want to go to college , medical school, then internship and residency to make 80 k a yr, no thanks……. Yeah that's a great idea to fix the doc shortage, cut their already dismal reimbursement…… By the way payment to docs accounts for less than 10 % of buget from medicare so if u think cutting that will make a great difference your wrong

      • Caroline Gearing says:

        Thanks Brian. I appreciate your words and wisdom. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the insurance companies are already driving us out of business. No one can live on Medicare level wages. There will be serious repercussions if Obamacare reaches full force. Already the insurance companies have been drastically raising rates and reducing the pay of all providers. I think the overall goal will be will ALL get paid decreasingly lower Medicare/Medicaid wages. After yet another rate reduction from BCBS/Regence here in the NW I am seriously thinking of some other kind of work to do. Listening to people's problems day in and ay out is very hard work but it seems the insurance companies can keep lowering all our wages. I fear for all the people who have chosen to care for others whether much needed doctors or the ancillary services. How long can private pay insurers continue reducing rates. It pains me to see the world's best health system going down the drain. Worst yet breaking the heart of people who want to care for others.

        • Bebe says:

          Soooo, both you and Brian are in it for the money, not for the love of the profession? Money, #1 as usuall regardless. People never really mater , you just say it is.

          • Pete says:

            It's a little difficult to say that money is not a factor after at LEAST 7 years of extremely difficult training, plus massive amounts of debt. As a medical student, I can safely say that none of my peers came to medical school with the single intention of getting rich. These people all LOVE helping others, and love using their intellect. Anyone that says a physician works only for the money has no idea of the amount of sacrifice the medical community makes. Maybe you should talk to a doctor once or twice, you might learn something.

          • Mfl says:

            I'd be interested to hear what it is that you do for a living Bebe, and whether you could afford to continue to do it for 1/5th of what it pays you now.

            If everyone truly loved their jobs, we'd all work for free and money wouldn't be an issue.

            It's ridiculous for you to think that your doctor would incur hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt in student loans to learn how to treat you, then practice in a field that means that any given day they could be sued for millions of dollars, without charging an amount that offsets those debts and that risk.

            Yes, it would be nice if we could all just do what we love for free or almost free because we love to do it, but that is simply not reality. To imply that charging the rate that it takes to avert the costs of a risky business means that doctors don't love their jobs is ignorant, rude, and unfair.

      • gigi says:

        If there is one type of person who DESERVES to be paid, its doctors! If me and my familys health is in there hands, then pay them!!!

      • Nadine says:

        As a physician you should have never came on this blog. You sound ignorant and greedy and you are the reason that some do not trust our health care system. How about your oath to care for those in need? Greed was what drove you to medical school, not the love of medicine.

    13. Docintraining says:

      It takes a lot of energy, time and patience to become a physician. So, think before you say they are being overpaid.

    14. Bebe says:

      Of course you would go along with whatever this crap is since it is republican based.

      • goat says:

        try typing "doctors and obamacare" in google… let me know if you can find any doctors in support of obamacare

    15. Alice says:

      Can I ask a question? You say "Doctors will have to focus increasingly on government rules rather than the specific needs of their patients." . . . How exactly? While the bill itself does place many regulations on insurance companies, (IE: that 80% of the money they bring in has to be used to cover their customers medical expenses) but it doesn't regulate the doctors themselves. So what "Rules" will they have to focus on?

      • hahacare says:

        Scip rules to start. Not really based on concrete evidence. Bureacrats decided some as an indirect means to deny payment.

    16. Andre says:

      Sigh… So much fear of the unknown. Do your research and you wont be scared. Listen to legitimate news outlets or better yet, read the new bills yourself and make an informed decision. I am a physician and I can assure you, I will be making money regardless. Will there be an influx of Medicare patients? Maybe a few… But there will also be an even larger influx of privately insured patients who will make up the difference if not tip it in my favor. More insured patients = more frequent doctors visits = more money in my and every other doctor's pockets.
      I'm ashamed to listen to my fellow physicians buy into this and think they need to retire, or open a private practice that "only serves those with private insurance." Your responsibility as a doctor is to care for patients.

      • Edwin0412 says:

        When I was a kid I wanted to be a cardiologist save lives, of course I was a bit naive and had those dreams. All this stopped once everyone kept telling me how muchoney was I to make, sure money is enticing but then realized now a days that is why a doctor is about$$$$ forget the want to save LIVES, then I graduated from high school at the age of 16 and rather opted to travel the world and have been everywhere I wanted to and help people every way I can. Sadly cannot save lives but can change people's lives at the cost of $0.0.

      • Dr.R says:

        Thank you. I am a physician as well and I'm sick and tired of hearing all of the whining from some of my colleagues about how much less they'll make and how Obamacare will negatively impact them. I am so ashamed of these people being in the same profession as my own. I find them to be selfish, ignorant and scared of change. We have been complaining of health insurance companies having to much power and forcing patient medical decisions upon us. If the health care system doesn't change, it will only continue to get worse with even more power going into the hands of the insurance companies. Little do most people (including physicians) realize that this is just the change we NEED in healthcare. It's not perfect by any means, but it's in the right direction.

        • Dr Y says:

          I'm a family practice physician making $125,000 per year and I have $220,000 in school loans from undergrad and college. Not sure if the comments about physicians making too much is about specialist, but its not about me!! Pediatrician are lucky to make the above. We go to school for 10-14 years including residency after high school, can get sued constantly, on call all the time, have one of the highest divorce rate of all jobs, and you say I make too much? Wow, you try this burden. Walk a day in an FP job. I take some Medicaid to help the community, some tricare for the same reason, and do my best to help my fellow man. This job is SO stressful. I am lucky to eat lunch or even use the bathroom sometimes due to time constraints. I'm not complaining, I love what I do. I just don't want to be chastised for making too much money. You cut primary care's income, and I'll be working a second job at Walmart on the weekends!

        • Melissa A. says:

          I agree and with the gentleman above who mentioned the more insured in the system, the more sustainable. Likely all GP's will have to take a certain amount of Medicare and Medicaid so it is more equally shared. I just wish there were more GP's. Mid level providers will help out.

    17. Lane says:

      Mr.Obama maybe people choose to be poor and unemployed, and the governments away of getting something for nothing. If you are having trouble paying for medical bills, than I suggest you get a job and quit whining. The people who work hard will be rewarded in the end. To improve the economy we need to get people motivated and that is what Mitt Romney’s plan is. Everyday I hear on the news how people aren’t getting their fair share, well if you look at from a citizen’s point of view people are lazy and don’t want to work!!!!!!!

    18. Miami_PA says:

      It's not about right wing or left wing. $716 billion dollar cut means less payments to providers. If you worked two jobs, one that gave you a crap load of work for little pay or one that compensated you for what you're worth and gives you what you need to provide very good care, which job would you keep?

      If medicaid pays docs less then why shouldn't private insurance companies? It's bound to happen. ObamaCare=cut to medicare payments to docs=doc shortage and docs rejecting medicaid patients=more sick people being denied health care in the office=overcrowded ER's=less than acceptable healthcare=higher lawsuits=National Suicide!
      Hospitals may be "for" ObamaCare, but it's only because "volume" is what's most important to them for business. Oh and AMA is completely liberal therefore making them biased and unreliable.

    19. Dr Rick says:

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