The following comes from a Dec. 6 story in the Washington Examiner.
An estimated seven out of every 10 physicians in deep-blue California are rebelling against the state’s Obamacare health insurance exchange and won’t participate, the head of the state’s largest medical association said.
“It doesn’t surprise me that there’s a high rate of nonparticipation,” said Dr. Richard Thorp, president of the California Medical Association.
Thorp has been a primary care doctor for 38 years in a small town 90 miles north of Sacramento. The CMA represents 38,000 of the roughly 104,000 doctors in California.
“We need some recognition that we’re doing a service to the community. But we can’t do it for free. And we can’t do it at a loss. No other business would do that,” he said.
California offers one of the lowest government reimbursement rates in the country — 30 percent lower than federal Medicare payments. And reimbursement rates for some procedures are even lower.
In other states, Medicare pays doctors $76 for return-office visits. But in California, Medi-Cal’s reimbursement is $24, according to Dr. Theodore M. Mazer, a San Diego ear, nose and throat doctor.
In other states, doctors receive between $500 to $700 to perform a tonsillectomy. In California, they get $160, Mazer added.
Only in September did insurance companies disclose that their rates would be pegged to California’s Medicaid plan, called Medi-Cal. That’s driven many doctors to just say no.
They’re also pointing out that Covered California’s website lists many doctors as participants when they aren’t.
“Some physicians have been put in the network and they were included basically without their permission,” Lisa Folberg said. She is a CMA’s vice president of medical and regulatory Policy.
“They may be listed as actually participating, but not of their own volition,” said Donald Waters, executive director of the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association.
Waters’ group represents 3,100 doctors in the East Bay area that includes Oakland, with an estimated 200,000 uninsured individuals.
“This is a dirty little secret that is not really talked about as they promote Covered California,” Waters said. He called the exchange’s doctors list a “shell game” because “the vast majority” of his doctors are not participating.
Independent insurance brokers who work with both insurance companies and doctor networks estimate that about 70 percent of California’s 104,000 licensed doctors are boycotting the exchange.
Mazer, a past president of the San Diego County Medical Society, agreed, saying, “I cannot find anybody in my specialty in the area that has signed a contract directly with any of these plans.
“The real question,” Mazer added, “is how many doctors have signed up for how many programs, and whether there’s more than 50 percent participation.”
Dr. Sherry Franklin, a pediatric endocrinologist at Rady’s Children’s Hospital, San Diego, and at the University of California San Diego Hospital, isn’t joining the exchange.
Franklin said last summer she “got a letter in the mail letting me know if I wanted to participate with Blue Cross through the exchange, which is different from my regular Blue Cross practice, because they are paying less. They did not tell me how much less. You had to agree or disagree. So, of course, I said no.”
For its part, Covered California expects as many as 85 percent of the state’s doctors will join the new exchange.
“The Covered California board says we have plenty of doctors, and they allege they have 85 percent of doctors participating,” notes Mazer. “But they’ve shown no numbers….”
To read the entire story, click here.
How about killing them or putting them into prison for refusing to serve the Most August Obama? Those racist bigots!!! They must pay for their bigotry!!!
After spending over one billion dollars to create a website that doesn’t work, do you think the Obama regime is able to create and manage a health care system for the entire nation? Why would doctors want to work for a system where they are paid the wages of a semi-skilled laborer, or not be paid at all because the system doesn’t work?
In the debate surrounding “Obamacare”, no one seems to get to the core of the matter. Ask yourself one thing, just one. In what areas of endeavor is the government more efficient and competent than private industry ? Name one, please. Most will come up with only one – waging war. If we turn a war over to our military, with freedom to use all the tools and tactics at their disposal, they will always win. So – our government’s chief talent is for breaking things and killing people, organized ruination is their specialty, their chief talent. And in light of this, we want to turn medicine – the healing arts – over to them ? How absurd !!!!!
Well, you’re right on one point. Private industry is exceedingly good at profiting off of healthcare by excluding any demographic that will utilize it heavily, and generally pushing the burdonsome aspect of it (the poor, the aged, the sick, the mentally ill) into publicly funded endeavors such as Medicare/Medical. Private industry has no interest in doing anything for the public good, nor should it… which has resulted in a huge number of people having no healthcare, and thus making them recipients of government funded healthcare anyway.
If there’s a market-based solution to that, where is it?
Obamacare is a byzantine mess of compromise and concessions because it couldn’t be allowed to be what it should; a single-payer system that competes directly with, and undermines the profitability of private healthcare.
Its not surprising a lot of doctors will opt out if they have the opportunity. A lot of doctors already opt out of Medicare and Medi-Cal… private doctors don’t really benefit from programs like that. Big institutional organizations like hospitals and HMOs do, though… because they entire industry is now based on over charging/under paying negotiations on an institutional level. That’s why a rubber glove can cost $50 on a hospital bill.
Siollan, you asked for a Market-Based solution as a rhetorical question for which you apparently believe there is no answer. There is an answer.
The answer is contained in the Principle of Subsidiarity. Never heard of it? I’m not surprised, so go look it up. This Principle applied to all levels of govt. would result in reducing costs, hence taxes by more than 50%, while at the same time providing 100% increase in efficiency and results.
Subsidiarity applied to health care goes back to the Dr.-Patient relationship. Before there was such a thing as “Health Insurance”, the Doctors took care of ALL their patients regardless of their means of paying, even during the Great Depression (I know, because I was born in 1933 and lived through it). They might be paid with a dozen eggs or a pie or a quarter of beef, but they were paid. Everyone took personal responsibility to make the system work, and it did!
The whole concept of “Insurance” became perverted to people thinking that they can get something for nothing. Let someone else pay the bill.
I could perhaps see insurance limited to health care for “catastrophic coverage” only, while returning to the ethical functioning of the Doctor-Patient relationship for everything else. No doubt this return to the marketplace would also result in a drastic reduction in fees. The Doctors would be in competition for patients.
In conclusion, I would like to challenge everyone reading this, to inform yourselves on the Principle of Subsidiarity, and then visualize how the application of this Principle to other areas of govt., and even commerce, would introduce great efficiency and accountability throughout our society. As a start, apply subsidiarity to education, where the parents have the primary responsibility for the education of THEIR children.
Subsidiarity has the ability to bring the power back to the people where it belongs, and to take the power away from the hands of the career politicians and bureaucrats, but “We the People” will have to actively demand it, because they will not give it up without a fight.
There is no situation so bad that the Government can’t make it worse!
The thing about making jokes about liberals is that often the jokes turn out to be true. The jack booted thugs may be coming for the doctors.
Ski Ven, of course the tyrannical thugs are coming for the doctors!
Wherever policy-maker-do-gooders are hard at work you will always find the targeted recipients (in this case the doctors) of the do-gooder policy makers, come up with creative ways to diminish the damage.
For the sake of us all, I wish them well.
The reimbursement rates stated in this article wouldn’t even cover the salaries of the paper pushers. You need one person to handle insurance reimbursement at the doctor’s office, one person at the insurance company, one person at the hospital, and one person at the IRS who monitors all of this! The American Public is being sold a bill of goods! “Health Insurance” does not equate with “Health Care”. They are two separate entities. I am proud of the Doctors for standing up to this debacle.
Obama’s openly stated first goal is to “fundamentally” change this country. He is well on his way. To control the healthcare system of a nation is always the first goal of a totalitarian government. America is getting a long overdue education in what radical liberalism and “redistributive justice” are really all about. The end effect of Obamacare will be to take from the “rich” and give to the “poor”. Any means, fair or fouls, are justifiable in the Marxian world view.