The Coming ObamaCare

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Dr. Scott Gottlieb explains how ObamaCare will affect you and your doctor. Short answer: longer waits for appointments as reimbursements decline while regulations drive practice costs up.

Physician income declines will be accompanied by regulations that will make practicing medicine more costly, creating a double whammy of lower revenue and higher practice costs, especially for primary-care doctors who generally operate busy practices and work on thinner margins. For example, doctors will face expenses to deploy pricey electronic prescribing tools and computerized health records that are mandated under the Obama plan. For most doctors these capital costs won’t be fully covered by the subsidies provided by the plan.

Government insurance programs also shift compliance costs directly onto doctors by encumbering them with rules requiring expensive staffing and documentation. It’s a way for government health programs like Medicare to control charges. The rules are backed up with threats of arbitrary probes targeting documentation infractions. There will also be disproportionate fines, giving doctors and hospitals reason to overspend on their back offices to avoid reprisals.

. . . These changes are superimposed on a payment system where compensation often bears no connection to clinical outcomes. Medicare provides all the wrong incentives. Its charge-based system pays doctors more for delivering more care, meaning incomes rise as medical problems persist and decline when illness resolves.

Full article here.

Back in 2007, Mark Steyn wrote a piece titled “The Jobs Britons Won’t Do” after a failed terrorist attack at Glasgow airport perpetrated by eight employees (including seven physicians) employed by the National Health Service:

Of the eight persons arrested as of Friday in the terrorist plot, seven are doctors with the National Health Service (the eighth is the wife of one, and a lab technician at the same hospital). The bombs failed to go off because a medical syringe malfunctioned. I don’t mean it malfunctioned as a syringe (even in the crumbling NHS, the syringes usually work) but as a triggering mechanism, to which it had been adapted, though evidently not too efficiently.

Does government health care inevitably lead to homicidal doctors who can’t wait to leap into a flaming SUV and drive it through the check-in counter? No. But government health care does lead to a dependence on medical staff imported from other countries.

Some 40 percent of Britain’s practicing doctors were trained overseas — and that percentage will increase, as older native doctors retire, and younger immigrant doctors take their place. According to the BBC, “Over two-thirds of doctors registering to practice in the UK in 2003 were from overseas — the vast majority from non-European countries.” Five of the eight arrested are Arab Muslims, the other three Indian Muslims. Bilal Abdulla, the Wahhabi driver of the incendiary Jeep and a doctor at the Royal Alexandra Hospital near Glasgow, is one of over 2,000 Iraqi doctors working in Britain.

Many of these imported medical staff have never practiced in their own countries. As soon as they complete their training, they move to a Western world hungry for doctors to prop up their understaffed health systems: Dr. Abdulla got his medical qualification in Baghdad in 2004 and was practicing in Britain by 2006. His co-plotter, Mohammed Asha, a neurosurgeon, graduated in Jordan in 2004 and came to England the same year.

When the president talks about needing immigrants to do “the jobs Americans won’t do,” most of us assume he means seasonal fruit pickers and the maid who turns down your hotel bed and leaves the little chocolate on it. But in the United Kingdom the jobs Britons won’t do has somehow come to encompass the medical profession.

Here in the U.S., illegal immigrants, excuse me, amnesty-awaiting citizens/reliably-Democrat voters, work as busboys, dishwashers, nannies, seasonal farm laborers, etc., “all the jobs that Americans won’t do.” Ironically, under Britain’s socialized healthcare system, medical specialties now fall under the category of jobs that Britons won’t do, as evidenced by the fact that over two-thirds of new doctors and nurses are immigrants, most from Islamic countries.

Meanwhile in Cuba, M.D.s and Ph.D.s whose government salaries are paid in (worthless) Cuban pesos, gladly forsake their professional training for demeaning work as bus boys and waiters in foreign-built-for-foreigners-only five-star hotels and Varadero beach resorts. These menial jobs are highly desired because they provide opportunities to garner the occasional dollar/Euro tip from the pampered progressive plutocrats (i.e., Euro-trash) who subsidize the Cuban tourism industry.

Welcome to the brave new world of ObamaCare, where healthcare professionals are undesirable jobs, while unskilled labor jobs are prized.

Down is the new up.

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