Many of “the 47%” Mitt Romney says “believe the government has a responsibility to care for” will find that ObamaCare’s first and deepest impact will be on those who need health security the most – those who are poorer, sicker, and older.
The poor: The health overhaul law will make it more difficult for lower-income Americans enrolled in Medicaid to get care by overloading the program. The sickest of those on Medicaid today will have an even harder time finding a physician to see them.
Medicaid recipients have a paper promise a long and very comprehensive list of medical services. But because Medicaid pays doctors so little, patients find it hard to find a doctor – especially a specialist – who can afford to take additional patients. That forces too many patients into hospital emergency rooms where, if they wait long enough, they will eventually be seen. They know all too well that there is big difference between having “coverage” and actual access to “care.”
And a physician shortage is looming. The Physicians Foundation surveyed doctors and found that 60% said that the new law will force them to close or restrict certain categories of patients. Of those, 93% said they will stop seeing or restrict the number of Medicaid patients they see, and 87% will close or restrict their Medicare practice.
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