Justice Roberts betrayed basic American principles when he parsed the term “tax” and allowed his seemingly adulterated conscience to vote in favor of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” today. The Supreme Court of the United States has dealt an irreversible blow to the United States medical establishment.
I, like most physicians, should be looking for the glass half full in the aftermath of the SCOTUS Obamacare decision. This positive attitude, however, is becoming increasingly hard to maintain. As a medical leader and “politico,” I never placed much heft or energy in the Supreme Court challenge, preferring to focus instead on educating physicians and patients about the general dangers of the Affordable Care Act in the long run to the areas of quality, safety, security, access, and viability. Socialism has never been a popular model of governance in the United States, and people will soon learn just how much they miss the “good ‘ol days” when physicians were freer and less burdened by the bureaucratic morass of nationalized healthcare. And make no mistake: Obamacare is truly the beginning of the end for top-notch American medicine as we know it today.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as PPACA or Obamacare) will progressively deplete the highly-skilled workforce of American physicians. Once diminished in stature and pay, reviving this unique class of Americans will take a generation of medical training and experience to recapture, assuming Republicans can win in the White House and both houses of Congress in the near future – with the plurality to totally repeal the health-care law. Is America willing to accept this national loss as a result of the new health-care reform legislation?
I’m worried about the long term viability of my field of medicine and the future of our great nation. Under the new PPACA legislation, independent medical practices will suffer irreparable harm; like a bellwether, this will signal a poor prognosis for the American health-care delivery system in general, the American economy, and our national spirit. What we have come to expect out of our doctors and hospitals will diminish, as the engine of ingenuity and creativity and capitalism is scaled back to fit a restricted, “nationalized” model of medical care heretofore unbeknownst to the American public. This is not a “left” or “right” issue – it is something that should be of concern for all of us.
The PPACA law will vastly increase the use of non-physicians in all aspects of medical care. The pay for most physician services will decrease over time to levels equivalent to that of Medicare/MediCal rates, and the use of “physician extenders” will expand dramatically. There will be longer waits to see American-trained doctors, and many of the best physicians will refuse to accept the “Obamacare” card or will close their doors altogether. Get used to the words “the provider will see you now,” because the pool of qualified, practicing medical doctors in the United States will vastly decrease in the new era of Obama-medicine.
Adam Frederic Dorin, M.D., MBA Founder & President America’s Medical Society, AMS, Inc. | a non-profit corporation 501c3 status (tax exempt) [P] (24/7): 202 423 3366 | [F] 504 305 4852 / 202 318 0063 | [W] AmericasMedicalSociety.com | SAN DIEGO | NEW ORLEANS | WASHINGTON, D.C.