The health care fix is now set to be law. The federal government stepping into administration and provision of medical services is creating a lot of uncertainty and concern among those of us that provide health care service. We know that there are inequities, cost issues, and other problems with the current system. But there is a lot of angst involved in thinking that the government is up to the challenge of appropriating control over one sixth or more of the economy, especially when we see how government has managed what it attempts to control now.
Patients suffering from illness desire accurate diagnoses in a timely fashion with the best treatment options available. The massive bureaucracy of the Affordable Care Act ensures none of this, sacrificing the above in an attempt to ratchet down costs and increase the availability of care to the uninsured…or so the law is advertised. Perusing the bill shows that it is more a bureaucracy to ensure the expansion and power of government. Nowhere has thought been given as to how we physicians can be made to feel like partners in the success of “ObamaCare.” Nowhere is the patient the focus of the bill, unless you count the fantasy that care is provided “free of charge.”
The current insurance-based system has, at least to some extent, market forces that patients use to drive their decision-making. The system works for most Americans. We are now being asked to trust that government can better handle administration and payment. Trading freedom of choice in health care for the security of government payment for that care, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, will result in us having neither freedom nor security.