CBS News did a report on an especially unpleasant aspect of ObamaCare’s “doc shock,” which is the unraveling of Barack Obama’s Second Big Lie, “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” No, you can’t, and doctors are becoming quite vocal about point out how bad this problem has become:
As mentioned last week, the ObamaCare commissars are thinking about issuing some new edicts that would force provider networks to include more doctors, which will in turn raise those already horrific “Affordable” Care Act premiums even higher. After watching them try to spin job losses from ObamaCare as a wonderful opportunity for people to seek personal fulfillment at taxpayer expense, I expect the Democrats will soon realize “doc shock” is too expensive to legislate away, and begin spinning it as a positive benefit that will minimize confusion by organizing the citizen-cattle into smaller networks. Besides, one doctor’s as good as another to the eye of a distant bureaucrat.
There have been related stories recently about people getting forced into Medicaid, such as a woman in Texas named Rachel Benjamin, who was forced to put five of her six children into that hellish medical welfare system, even though she doesn’t regard her family as poor. “I don’t want to feel like I’m the lowest class citizen in this country,” she said. She finds herself praying that her kids won’t need to see the doctor, because she understands how tightly limited the provider networks for Medicaid are – it’s something a growing number of physicians want no part of. And yes, she’s one of those people Obama said would be able to keep the old coverage she was perfectly happy with, only to learn otherwise after the rusty gears and bleak chains of the Affordable Care Act ground to life.
And Medicaid will continue growing under ObamaCare, fulfilling one of the program’s core objectives: wiping out the independence of the middle class by pushing them into government welfare programs. The Wall Street Journal writes of the growing pressure on states that chose not to expand Medicaid upon federal command, as an alarming number of people find themselves too well-off to qualify for Medicaid in the states that refused expansion… but not well-off enough to receive ObamaCare subsidies:
The federal government offered to pay the full cost of the expansion for three years, and then states would pay 10% of the annual expansion costs. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the current expansion will cost the federal government nearly $800 billion over the next 10 years.
Some GOP-led states are revisiting their decision as complaints pile up over the coverage gap—and its consequences for businesses—in such states as Utah and Florida. The state senate in New Hampshire last week reached a tentative deal to expand Medicaid. In Virginia, newly elected Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe hopes to get legislators to reverse his Republican predecessor’s stance against expansion.
Lawmakers are also getting a push to boost Medicaid rolls from hospitals that expected a vast new pool of paying customers under the health-care law. Instead, the failure to expand Medicaid coverage by some states not only adds fewer insured patients, it also eliminates the payments hospitals had long received to cover the cost of uninsured people they treat free.
Great – another fiscal bomb detonates in ObamaCare, building pressure for a straight-up welfare dependency program that has absolutely nothing to do with the purchase of “insurance.” Medicaid was supposed to provide managed health care for the desperately poor, but thanks to the ACA, it’s becoming a feature of middle-class life. We’re already looking back on those fraudulent cost projections the ObamaCare con artists cooked up to make the bill look revenue-neutral with a bitter laugh; just wait until the cost of the Medicaid expansion doubles or triples. Good thing none of these Democrats had to offer an honest argument for simply expanding medical welfare – instead, they got to pretend they were genius technocrats who could run the entire health insurance industry better than free-market competitors and discriminating customers. They could have just introduced a proposal to radically expand Medicaid, but they would have encountered a great deal of resistance from an informed populace, so instead we got crazy promises about how nobody would lose their plan, nobody would lose their doctor, average families would save $2500 a year on insurance premiums, and none of it would cost taxpayers a dime.
Medicaid expansion will be the great engine driving “doc shock” – it’s even worse than the limited provider networks common to Affordable Care Act insurance plans. When you hear about Medicaid expansion on a titanic scale, you’re hearing about the end of medicine as Americans have known it for a large number of people who are not poor, do not think of themselves as impoverished, and wanted to shop for insurance plans as informed customers, not become wards of the State. Another big step toward the hopeless abyss of single-payer socialized medicine is taken every time a fresh load of formerly independent middle-class people or their children are introduced to Medicaid.