For the record, I think that ObamaCare is an expensive, amateurish travesty that should be repealed and rebuilt from the ground up by professionals. Keep the high risk pools for pre-exiting conditions, keep the subsidies for the poor … but lose the micro-narrow provider networks and the junk mandated into policies (e.g. my favorite: universally free birth control for law schoolers).
And, I think that Dr. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel – Rahm’s brother and one of the ObamaCare architects – is a complete butt.
That said, I was on Zeke’s side when he sparred with O’Reilly this week …
The subject was community health clinics.
News to me, but under ObamaCare HHS is spending billions of dollars to expand community health clinics.
O’Reilly started railing on old Zeke because the community clinics will be “mainly staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants”.
Big Bill was outraged that health care delivery would be delivered by folks who aren’t real doctors.
I think one of the ways to contain health care costs is to match the level of the provider with the level of the malady.
Sure, you don’t want PAs operating in the backroom of drug stores … and you don’t want RPs writing narcotics prescriptions in rough neighborhood.
But, I’m all for greater use of PAs and NPs.
Couple of years ago I had my annual sinus infection and deliriously stumbled into a 24-hour emergency center – thinking that it was a Minute Clinic.
Got a bill for over $3,000.
I knew — and they must have known from the get-go –that the answer would be an industrial strength decongestant and an anti-biotic.
Retail price at a Minute Clinic: $69 plus $20 in co-pays for the 2 prescriptions.
Big spread between $69 and $3,000 to get to the same answer.
Fortunately my insurer got the bill down to $100 … whew.
The point of the story: I didn’t need 3 doctors, 4 tests and a chest x-ray.
I just needed an NP to look in my ears and down my throat and write the prescriptions.
More recently, we’ve been dealing with some more serious medical issues …. and we’ve been spending a lot of time with PAs and RNs.
My respect and appreciation for them grows with each visit.
They’re smart, empathetic, patient with questions and right with their answers.
They know their limits and call in the doc if we veer out of their power alleys.
Bottom line: I’m with you on this one, Zeke … but still think the law is an atrocity.
P.S. Worth watching the video – only a couple of minutes long.