Have any of you ever wanted to change doctors after you've turned 65 and are on Medicare? It's no easy task. If they take Medicare patients at all, they take limited numbers. Why?
Medicare reimburses them very little and wants to cut even more. This is also the reason Family Practice physicians are in short supply and dwindling. They can't afford to be in practice. This is an ill wind for seniors. If the government increases it's role in determining how much should be paid out for treating an ailment, it is of concern. I do not, under any circumstance, want Congress involved in this. Insurance companies are bad enough since they've forgotten what insurance is supposed to be other than profit centers for their own gain.
Have you noticed that there has been no mention of offering the same health care packages available to government employees in the current discussions? It was a big part of Obama's campaign rhetoric. One way to level the playing field might be to drop government plans for themselves and make it mandatory they participate in those available to us. Then there may be hope.
As an example of how bad it is for the doctors I am going share with you an example. I had a cyst removed from my finger a month or so ago. For the initial exam/consultation and office x-ray the doctor billed $331.00. What was not approved by Medicare is the issue. $260.89. Approved was $70.11 of which Medicare paid $56.09. The remaining $14.02 would have been on me had I not had a supplemental that picked it up. The doctor had to absorb the rest.
This is not financial incentive for the doctor, now, is it!
The total for the complete procedure including the anesthesia was around $4000. For one little cyst. You can imagine, without my spelling it out, the hair cut the doctor will take on that!
That health care reform is sorely needed is not the argument. That government should be involved as an incentive for action seems to be needed. My nagging fear is the rush to legislate without adequate input from all aspects of the medical community. Not Congress and not insurers, but medical professionals who understand disease, injury and treatment.
I don't believe it can be done by August, 2009. If it is, the excess senior population will be remedied. We will be expendable.