President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act, which reached five years old Monday, still faces multiple legal challenges that may end up at the Supreme Court.
Obamacare also has been blamed for causing hospitals to fail, doctors to quit in frustration or retire in thankfulness they can get out. Critics say it has installed “death panels” in the nation’s health-care system and is pushing out free-market solutions.
It’s exactly as planned, according to Lee Hieb, M.D., the former president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
“What we have is the purposeful destruction of the American medical system in order to force the United States to adopt socialized medicine,” Heib said in an interview with WND.
“Let’s look at the butcher’s bill after five years of Obamacare – failing hospitals, rising costs and an unsustainable business model for health care professions,” she said.
Hieb predicted all of this in her book “Surviving the Medical Meltdown: Your Guide to Living Through the Disaster of Obamacare.”
She suggests government regulations are forcing doctors and hospitals into a “business death spiral” that will only accelerate as Obamacare remains in place.
As hospitals and insurance companies struggle to survive, Americans will confront “bigger and bigger entities” less capable of providing care.
In “Surviving the Medical Meltdown,” Hieb identifies “hospitals in inner cities or poor regions around the country … closing their doors” as a telltale sign of eventual “catastrophic failure.”
As WND reported last weekend, 48 rural hospitals have closed since 2010 and approximately 300 are in danger of closing soon.
“The closures of rural hospitals are a huge warning sign for the American health care system,” Hieb said. “But this is just the beginning as Obamacare is imposing huge costs on health care professionals at all levels.”
Hieb also predicted insurance companies would consolidate and charge higher prices to compensate for the increased costs imposed by federal legislation. The New York Daily News reported the National Bureau of Economic Research recently concluded 2014 insurance premiums for those who don’t get coverage through work were 24.4 percent higher than they would have been without Obamacare.
Finally, Hieb foresaw as Obamacare expanded Medicaid eligibility that payouts would not be enough to compensate physicians for the increased workload and compliance requirements. Physicians and specialists would no longer be able to afford to work as they would actually be punished for their productivity.
She said Medicare and Medicaid “paid less and less, and the cost of doing business became more and more expensive as the government added thousands of pages of regulation.”
In addition to getting paid less, doctors “have the increasing likelihood of being prosecuted under Medicare fraud and abuse statutes” as they struggle to comply with elaborate and confusing paperwork requirements, she said.
As Hieb expected, medical organizations are now reporting a “physician shortage” that will only increase in the future.
A recent study commissioned by the Association of American Medical Colleges projected “demand for physicians will exceed supply by a range of 46,000 to 90,000” people, with most of the shortfall taking place among specialists and non-primary care physicians. According to the study, fully implementing Obamacare accounts for part of the increase in demand.
Obamacare is also held responsible for a reported increase in emergency room visits, despite Democratic Party promises the Affordable Care Act would actually reduce these kinds of costly visits.
A study from the American College of Emergency Physicians found almost half of physicians polled experienced an increase in emergency room visits, while 86 percent of emergency room physicians expected future increases and more than three fourths predicted their facilities were insufficient to handle the increased demand.
Hieb explained while Obamacare has increased “coverage” in a theoretical sense, it hasn’t actually provided real access to quality medical care.
“The issue isn’t ‘coverage,’ it’s what you actually get with insurance. The only real theoretical winners under Obamacare are young people who can now say they have ‘coverage,’ but they haven’t tried to obtain care yet. For seniors, cost containment and rationing is built into Obamacare and they are getting less than what they had before.”
Hieb also contends Obamacare corrupts American life at a deeper level, because increased costs and regulatory burdens make it impossible to provide the kind of voluntary aid Americans used to be able to fall back on.
“We’ve effectively priced out charity. It used to be if you didn’t get care, a church, family, or community could come to your aid. But now there is both the expectation the government will provide care and there are fewer resources for private groups and individuals because of increased costs,” she said.
“What happens is that what the government can provide is all you get. And as Obamacare remains in place, it can provide less and less.”
According to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, health care costs will consume 31 percent of per capita income by 2022, a dramatic increase from 7 percent in 1960. Insurance premiums are also skyrocketing, she said.
“Americans are paying more than ever and receiving less,” concluded Hieb. “Five years after Obamacare, as I predicted in ‘Surviving the Medical Meltdown,’ we can see that Obamacare is nothing less than a planned demolition of our healthcare industry.”
She said Obamacare “can’t work, because it wasn’t designed to work.’
“The real alternative is the way we built the finest health care system in the world, by not having a ‘system ‘at all but private individuals, hospitals and charities,” she said.
“But unless Obamacare is repealed and we reject this idea that the government must provide a ‘system,’ I fear most people will believe universal socialist health care system is the only alternative to the mess Obamacare has deliberately created.”
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