They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it. ~ Red Cloud
A Doctor’s Letter to the NY State Dental Journal
Subject: Healthcare- one year later
I am a 70 year old retired Dentist who has spent a lifetime as a healthcare provider (2 years, during the Viet Nam war, as a Dentist & Captain in the US Air Force, 20 years as an Attending Dentist in a major metropolitan Hospital, and 42 years in my own private Dental Practice ). It’s now one year since ” The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ” (Obamacare) was passed. I think a one-year evaluation would be helpful.
1- We were promised a plan that would cost 850 Billion dollars for the first 10 years (even though it would not be fully implemented until after the first 3 years) The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now estimates that the actual cost is 1.2 Trillion dollars !
2- We were promised that healthcare costs would be lowered. The CBO now estimates that costs have increased 8-12 per cent this year! Tort reform, which was probably the best way to lower health costs, was not even mentioned in the bill!
3- We were promised that this bill would create jobs. Counting part-time workers who cannot get full-time employment as well as those who have stopped looking for a job, the actual rate is well 15.6 percent!
4- We were assured that medical insurance premiums would be lowered. Most medical insurance premiums have risen greatly this year.
5- We were told that the new law would benefit businesses. If that were true, why have 1400 businesses applied for and received exemptions from participating in it?
6- We were told that the bill was desired by most citizens. If that were true, why have 26 states petitioned the Supreme Court to invalidate the law?
7- We were told that the bill must be passed quickly because so many people had no medical coverage and needed immediate treatment. Then we found out that coverage would not begin for 3 years! I guess these critically sick patients would just have to wait!
8- We were told that there were 35 million people without medical coverage. Now we find out that number included 12 million who had the money (they had a yearly salary of over $50,000) but chose not to purchase insurance, and approximately 12 million illegal immigrants. The true number of working poor who have no medical insurance, is 10-15 million! Even though this is a much smaller number than what we were told, it is a problem that must be addressed.
9- We were told that the plan only included American citizens. Now we find out that nowhere in the bill was proof of citizenship required for medical treatment.
10- We were told that the plan would “pay for itself and actually improve Medicare. Now we find out that funding for the plan would come from an immediate 500 Billion dollar cut in Medicare! The other half would come from another 500 Billion dollar increase in taxes! It’s hard to believe that a cut this size from Medicare (to be used for other reasons) would do nothing but diminish the quality of care affecting all present and future Medicare patients.
11- We were told that we could always keep our present Doctor. Now we are told that if we are placed in a new plan (and many people will be) in which our previous Doctor is not a participant, we would, indeed have to select a new Doctor!
12- We were told that this was not a government takeover of our healthcare system and that the patient-Doctor relationship would always be maintained. However, the bill describes an enormous number of new government departments, committees, and administrators to run this new system. It even introduces a panel of bureaucrats whose job will be to determine medical benefits, who is eligible for them, and who and how much Doctors and hospitals will be paid. I guess this Doctor-patient relationship will have many additional players! It certainly looks like a government takeover of our healthcare system to me!
We have the greatest Doctors, hospitals, research centers, pharmaceutical companies and medical schools in the world. Should such a massive program, costing a budget-busting amount of money, injecting the government into the world’s greatest healthcare system and affecting 20 percent of our entire national economy be introduced and passed so quickly? The results seem to indicate that the answer is NO!
Perhaps they should have read the bill first!
Dr. Stephen R. Morris
Article reprinted from the NY Dental Journal