Sunday, April 20, 2014

"Medical Homelessness"

It’s beginning to be felt in California. Many of those who signed up for Obamacare insurance policies on the exchanges have discovered that they cannot get an appointment with a doctor. So they are going back to the free clinics they frequented before Obamacare made a hash of the medical system.

So much for affordable health care.

The CBS affiliate in San Francisco is calling it... medical homelessness:

While open enrollment for coverage under the Affordable Care Act is closed, many of the newly insured are finding they can’t find doctors, landing them into a state described as “medical homelessness.”

Rotacare, a free clinic for the uninsured in Mountain View, is dealing with the problem firsthand.

Mirella Nguyen works at the clinic said staffers dutifully helped uninsured clients sing up for Obamacare so they would no longer need the free clinic.

But months later, the clinic’s former patients are coming back to the clinic begging for help. “They’re coming back to us now and saying I can’t find a doctor, “said Nguyen.

Thinn Ong was thrilled to qualify for a subsidy on the health care exchange.  She is paying $200 a month in premiums. But the single mother of two is asking, what for?

“Yeah, I sign it. I got it. But where’s my doctor? Who’s my doctor? I don’t know,” said a frustrated Ong.

Nguyen said the newly insured patients checked the physicians’ lists they were provided and were told they weren’t accepting new patients or they did not participate in the plan.

An insurance policy is of little use when you cannot get a timely appointment with a physician. 

Also, note well, prior to Obamacare people without health insurance did not have to go to emergency rooms. They were provided with free health care at clinics.

Is this just a glitch in the system or is it the face of things to come?

Those who can’t find a doctor are supposed to lodge a complaint with state regulators, who have been denying the existence of a doctor shortage for months.

Meanwhile, the sick and insured can’t get appointments.

“What good is coverage if you can’t use it?” Nguyen said.

Experts said the magnitude of the problem is growing, and will soon be felt by all Californians. But those on the front lines, like the free clinic, are feeling it first.

More than 3 million Californians are newly insured. At the same time, a third of our primary care doctors are set to retire.

Did you catch that? A third of California’s primary care physicians are going to retire.

I would like to know this: who did Thinn Ong vote for? If she voted for Obamacare, will she continue voting Democratic?


Anonymous said...

Why would so many retire? Because they know what's coming...

Supply bottlenecks and rationing will never satisfy the a Democrats and their Lefty allies. Should this continue --which it likely will -- the "unfairness" of it all will lead to deafening cries from politicians, community organizers and social activists. A new "right" to go to whatever doctor you desire. It'll just be "free," as though medicine is like... well, every economic activity in the Land of Make-Believe, where work with altruistic joy and celebration. More magical thinking.

The solution is simple and familiar: force. Should there continue to be increasing demand with shrinking supply, the Democrats and their allies -- whether soon or in the future -- will require doctors (perhaps all of them) to take Medicare, Medicaid and ACA patients, regardless of x, y and z conditions. It reflects the Left's allure to "zero tolerance" policies they exempt themselves and their friends from (see: "exemptions"). And cash payments for off-plan "concierge" medicine will be rendered unlawful.

And with that, our friend Thinn Ong will continue to vote Democratic, because "they stood up for me" and stopped the "greedy doctors who hate poor people."

Watch it happen. I say within the next 8 years. It's pretty well programmed into the law of "unintended consequences." And our healthcare system will be destroyed. More collateral damage in the name of "equality."


Dr. Mabuse said...

My kids and I went 2 years without a doctor after my last GP moved away. There just wasn't one available. You will learn to do what we Canadians do now: prowl the suburbs and watch every time a commercial building project is under construction, particularly large supermarkets. They often have small doctor's offices incorporated and then you stalk the place until the "Accepting New Patients" sign is put out and you pounce to get registered. It doesn't matter where in town it's located; you're grateful just to get your name down on a doctor's roster.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to do what you Canadians do. ObamaCare was passed based on a lie. I like my doctor, and want to keep my doctor. If I cannot, ObamaCare was fraud. And Tip: they'll never be able to get rid of cash service because the can't track it.

n.n said...

Yes. Democrats, and, unfortunately, not a few Republicans, will out of necessity, rather than goodwill, continue to obfuscate structural inequality, especially in high density population centers, with promises of unicorns and rainbows. It is highly likely that they have created such a ball of yarns, that no one knows how to unwind it without causing catastrophic change. The Democrat "1%", and rich generally, for their part, are unwilling to exclusively finance and subsidize their democratic leverage (i.e. "people").

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the magical thinking within high-density population centers (bastions for Democrats) is based on not understanding where anything comes from, who makes it, how it's made, and -- most importantly -- never having to learn. Goods just show up on store shelves. Government checks come in the mail, signed by the political appointees who transfer the taxpayer's money. Deficits are just digits. SNAP cards are miraculously have new money assigned to them every month. At all points of exchange, there's no tie to the people who make and fund all this stuff. They're abstractions, if they're considered at all. If I didn't have to think about such things, I might think there's a government fairy, too. It's easier to get away with that kind of thinking in a big city.

Anonymous 4/20/14 @2:04:
That would be tax fraud. Unless it gets stuffed in a safe, it's going to be deposited somewhere, and banks are effectively utilities, terrified of further regulation, and compliant with every government request. You say you want to keep your doctor, and Obama lied to you. I'm so sorry. Politicians do that rather often. Did you vote for him?


Baloo said...

Very enlightening, just as predicted by so many. Reblogged with a quibcag here:
The Joys of Obamacare in California.