I have written numerous articles about this subject in the past and just as I have predicted on numerous occasions, the cost of health care would skyrocket under Obama Care. The IRS, “itself” predicts that a family of four will be paying over $20,000 a year for health insurance by 2016. An executive at CIGNA recently told me in his opinion the cost would be double or even possibly triple IRS estimates. As a result, we are seeing many of our patients being forced to increase deductibles, sometimes as high as $10,000 while simultaneously decreasing benefits.
One of the central themes of Obama care is that competition amongst insurance companies would drive the cost of health insurance down. This is a complete joke.
Sure, if you insuring 500 Ferrari’s, you may receive a slight volume discount but the facts are the facts, you’re still ensuring a Ferrari. Insuring Ferraris is expensive. Under Obama care not only will insurance premiums increase but the cost of health care in general will increase. The rationale is as follows:
1. Nothing under Obama care has been done to reduce or address the fundamental cost of healthcare in the United States.
2. The laws of supply and demand will cause medical costs to increase.
It takes about 12 years and costs north of $250,000 to become a medical doctor in the United States. The average physician’s salary is less than $200,000 a year. Clearly, physician salaries are not the cause of astronomical healthcare costs in the United States. In my view the sinister culprit once again boils down to corporatism and unions. Most patients don’t understand that doctors only get paid a fraction of what they charge and much more often than you would imagine physicians don’t get paid at all for their valuable services due to insurance conflicts, billing issues, rapidly increasing deductibles, ect, ect. We see an alarming and increasing volume of patients who simply don’t pay their medical bills at all. The American Medical Association which is virtually a dead entity in the eyes of most physicians, started out as pseudo- Union for physicians. This completely impotent union controls CPT (current procedural terminology) and diagnostic codes which physicians need to submit bills of service to insurance companies. The system between the American Medical Association, the federal government and insurance companies virtually freezes the ability of physicians to compete openly and freely in a natural marketplace. Insurance companies collect huge premiums from our patients and pay our doctors pennies on the dollar.
Obama care does not even address one of the most important drivers behind healthcare costs in the United States which is Tort Reform. God forbid, no law will ever be passed that gets in the way of lawyers making money. Keep in mind, most physicians are simply asking for a cap on punitive damages. A punitive damage would be for example amputating the wrong leg. Doctors are not asking for cap on medical malpractice, just the punitive aspect which is what causes malpractice insurance premiums to be so expensive. Malpractice insurance policies cost physicians on average between $25-$50,000 a year. The extremely litigious environment medical doctors face force them to often order extremely expensive tests which they may feel are unnecessary but the tests are ordered anyway to cover physicians from a malpractice standpoint. The entire medical industry, not just physicians is under such litigious pressure that millions upon millions of unnecessary tests are ordered on a daily basis which one of the main culprits in terms of the overall cost of healthcare.
In my opinion, the laws of supply and demand will actually cause medical costs to increase over time because supply will decrease and demand will increase. In other words, there will be more insured patients,”EVERYONE” in the United States but with the same number of healthcare providers. More patients + less healthcare providers = increased healthcare cost.