Only The New York Times thinks it’s news.
Anyone who bothered to inform himself about Obamacare knew that it was not about affordable care. It was about forcing people to be insured.
But, having insurance does not mean that you will be receiving medical care. If physicians refuse to take your insurance, as often happens with Medicaid, your insurance card will gain you access to the Emergency Room you were previously using for your health care needs.
When the government controls insurance, as in Medicaid and Medicare, reimbursement rates decline. The more they decline the fewer physicians accept them.
You thought it was about “affordable care.” It was really about worsening the already existing doctor shortage.
The New York Times reports:
In the Inland Empire, an economically depressed region in Southern California, President Obama’s health care law is expected to extend insurance coverage to more than 300,000 people by 2014. But coverage will not necessarily translate into care: Local health experts doubt there will be enough doctors to meet the area’s needs. There are not enough now.
As the Times points out with this chart, Obamacare will make a bad problem worse.
What does it mean to have a doctor shortage? The Times explains:
Experts describe a doctor shortage as an “invisible problem.” Patients still get care, but the process is often slow and difficult. In Riverside, it has left residents driving long distances to doctors, languishing on waiting lists, overusing emergency rooms and even forgoing care.
When it comes to Medicaid, don’t take my word for it. Read what the Times says:
Moreover, across the country, fewer than half of primary care clinicians were accepting new Medicaid patients as of 2008, making it hard for the poor to find care even when they are eligible for Medicaid. The expansion of Medicaid accounts for more than one-third of the overall growth in coverage in President Obama’s health care law.
Providers say they are bracing for the surge of the newly insured into an already strained system.
Ask yourself this: if the debate about Obamacare had focused on the doctor shortage instead of affordable care, would public opinion have been even more opposed than it was? Would the people who have been duped into thinking that they would gain affordable care have been so happy if they had known that there would not be enough physicians to care for them?
It isn’t an accident that the Times did not report on the doctor shortage in a timelier manner. It was simply following the Democratic playbook and using deceptive messaging.
For now it has worked.