Obamacare For me, it’s personal…

Higher costs, higher taxes, longer waits, primary doc absentia, still working

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My primary care doctor is on the faculty at Georgetown’s med school … and on the staff at Georgetown Hospital

Shortly after ObamaCare was passed, I asked him what he thought the implications would be.

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His reply surprised me …

“Not much change … it will just shift around who’s going to be paying the bills…. now, the hospital would treat anybody and just write off unpaid bills … going forward, I guess, those bills will be paid by the government and insurance companies.”

When pressed, about service levels, he opined:

“I’m working full days now, seeing as many patients as I can … so, it’ll be harder for current patients to get appointments unless we hire more doctors or stop accepting new patients … and, I don’t see us doing either of those two things.”

At the time, I thought his assessment was a bit dismissive.

Looking back, he had had deftly cut to chase.

In the final analysis healthcare – and, hence – ObamaCare impacts are strictly personal.

Here’s my saga. It’s one that many of my friends can relate to.

How ObamaCare has impacted me personally:

1. I’m paying higher premiums because “aggregate” healthcare costs have gone up – a lot!

Folks who have pre-existing conditions have been added to my plan’s “insurance pool” … they consume more healthcare than average, and the overage is spread across premium-payers.

Since annual and lifetime caps have been eliminated, the insurance company is spreading the added costs (and increased risk) across premium-payers.

“Adult children” are added to their parents coverage up to age 26 … in most cases, they are free riding because of the quirky premium schedule – only the first child on the plan costs the parents anything. While they may not consume much healthcare, they do consume some, and premium payers have to cover those costs.

All plans have to include some mandatory components – many of which I don’t need and some of which I’m philosophically opposed to. Neither my wife nor I need pregnancy-related coverage – we haven’t for a couple of decades. While we’re passively OK that women can legally get abortions, we’re morally opposed to actively paying for them.

No choice under ObamaCare.

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2. I’m paying higher taxes.

The Medicaid expansion to folks above the poverty level and the subsidies being provided to 80% of the people buying policies on the ObamaCare exchanges are being funded by the 50% of Americans who pay income taxes. I’m in that 50%, so I’m paying more in taxes.

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3. I’m waiting longer to see doctors.

I used schedule my annual physical a couple of weeks out. This year, earliest appointment was 9 months out … then it was rescheduled (by the doctor) for a couple of weeks later.
I made an appointment for my annual flu shot … showed up at the appointed time … and then had to wait over an hour to get the shot from a nurse.

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4. I haven’t seen my “real” primary care physician in almost 2 years.

More on my annual physical …

When I made the appointment, I clearly specified (demanded?) that it be with Dr. D.

A week before, I called to confirm the day, time and doctor.

When I showed up for the appointment, I was informed that Dr. D wouldn’t be available so I’d be treated by Dr. X – a competent doctor who didn’t know me, my history and my healthcare quirks.

Which reminds me: I now have to get my acute care (think: sinus infection) from a local Minute-clinic … no chance of getting a same day appointment with my primary care physician.

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5. I’m still working.

I’d planned to declare my career a success and start smelling the roses.

But, since my wife is a recently-designated cancer survivor, we’re skittish about having government bureaucrats provide our primary health insurance coverage.

So, I’m hanging on to stay in my employer’s private health insurance pool.

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OK, put it all together: higher premiums, higher taxes, longer wait times, primary care “in absentia), still working.

That’s why I support repeal & replace.

Like all of healthcare, it’s strictly personal …

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