By Michael Tennant
These were all predictable results of making government the dominant provider of health insurance, which the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does by subsidizing private insurance and vastly expanding Medicaid eligibility.
The expansion of Medicaid — the primary means of widening coverage under the ACA — is the main cause of these woes. The federal government simply doesn’t reimburse providers enough to make treating Medicaid patients worthwhile. Medicare, too, underpays providers, and its rolls are growing by the day as the Baby Boomers reach age 65.
“Whereas private insurance might pay the surgeon $4,500 for a spinal surgery (my specialty), Medicare paid less than $1,200,” Lee Hieb, M.D., recounts in her forthcoming book, Surviving the Medical Meltdown: Your Guide to Living Through the Disaster of Obamacare.
Hieb, an orthopedic surgeon and past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, also points out that the federal government flatly refuses to reimburse doctors and hospitals for services it deems “not medically necessary.” Bureaucrats, rather than doctors and patients, are deciding which treatments patients should receive. Put more simply, care is being rationed, precisely as ObamaCare opponents predicted.