This morning Dr. Marc Siegel answered some viewer questions on Fox & Friends concerning how the new health care law – er, tax – will effect us. He’s been deeply involved in this issue and is an expert on it. What he said was brief, but illuminating.
Question one: Will I still be able to pick my own doctor? What about specialists or getting a second opinion?
“You have to have that conversation (with your doctor). You have to say to your doctor “What are you going to do? Are you going to continue to take my insurance because some doctors will, some won’t. Some are going to drop out of Medicare with all the restrictions and all the cuts. Ask your doctor Are you going to leave private practice and go to a hospital group? Are you going to go to a large group? What about your network? You usually refer me to this specialist or that specialist? Where am I going to go if I have a problem with my hip? Are the same doctors staying in your network?”
No. 2: Will my premiums go up?
“I think that premiums are going to go up. Estimates are anywhere between 10 and 40% Why? We already saw that in New York state in the early 1990s when we said you had to have pre-existing conditions covered. We already have that here in New York. Because if you pay less out of pocket for health insurance and we’re going to cover everybody, pre-existing conditions and vaccines without a co-pay, colonoscopies without a co-pay, mammograms without a co-pay, the more we cover, the more comprehensive insurance is, the higher the premium. The insurance companies are not going to eat this. They’re going to transfer it to the consumer.”
No. 3: If the law is supposed to provide quality health care for more people, will I still be able to get a doctor’s appointment when I need it in a timely manner?
“There again you have to ask your physician. Because the truth is in Canada you have to wait three or four months for certain basic things like stents. In Massachusetts where there’s Romneycare, there’s a problem with waits for primary care physicians and certain specialists. So I anticipate waits which are already a problem in America will get a lot worse.”
In other worse, Canada, Great Britain, here we come! Americans will be brought down to the level of care they have and it is nothing like what we are used to in the U.S.