By Dr. Elaina George, Special for USDR
The recent New York Times opinion piece penned by Paul Krugman exemplifies what the problem is with political discourse in our country. Under the guise of pointing out the effects of a polarized political environment that uses intellectual dishonesty by those who disagree with their point of view. He exposes himself to be like the very same people that he mocks and belittles.
The “policy success” of ObamCare that he paints flies in the face of reality, and anyone who is not a practicing physician cannot truly understand how policy affects the practice of medicine and the delivery of healthcare. Patients are finding out what practicing physicians have known all along – that having health insurance does not equal access to quality healthcare. From the beginning the proponents of The Affordable Care Act used the argument that having health insurance equaled access to healthcare. However, the existence of The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) passed by Congress in 1986 guaranteed that anyone who needed emergency medical care whether they were a US citizen or not would receive it despite their ability to pay.
Just because you say it doesn’t make it so
Healthcare spending is down, but it isn’t because the cost of health insurance has dropped. It is because access has become increasingly limited.
- Insurance companies have limited covered services for patients and they have limited their panel of physicians thereby making it harder for patients to find a physician.
- Patients have found that their ability to keep their doctor has decreased because private physicians have increasingly stopped accepting ObamaCare thereby limiting their choice.
- Healthcare costs have dropped not due to a decrease in premiums, but because patients have had a sharp increase in their out-of-pocket costs (deductibles and coinsurance) which have led them to delay or forego care or increasingly go to the emergency room to receive care.
- Enrollment numbers in ObamaCare have failed to take into account the human costs of those who had health insurance that they liked, but were forced off of their policies onto a more expensive plan with coverage that they neither wanted nor needed.
Living in America is about having the freedom to choose and the right to have a difference of opinion, but using political doublespeak and ridicule in attempt to shut down opposing opinion and an honest debate is about control.