Low Reimbursement Rates Contributing to Physician Shortage, Op-Ed States
Something that "has gotten lost in the drive to institute universal health insurance" is the fact that "[h]ealth insurance doesn't automatically lead to health care," and "with more and more doctors dropping out of one insurance plan or another, especially government plans, there is no guarantee that you will be able to see a physician no matter what coverage you have," Marc Siegel, an internist and associate professor of medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center and a Fox News medical contributor, writes in Wall Street Journal opinion piece.
He continues that an increasing number of physicians have stopped accepting new Medicare beneficiaries as patients "because of the diminished reimbursements and the growing delay in payments." He adds that the "problem is even worse with Medicaid," and "HMOs are problematic as well."
Siegel writes, "Bottom line: None of the current plans, government or private, provide ... patients with the care they need. And the care that is provided is increasingly expensive and requires a big battle for approvals." He continues, "Of course, we're promised by the Obama administration that universal health insurance will avoid all these problems," but "how is that possible when you consider that the medical turnstiles will be the same as they are now, only they will be clogged with more and more patients?" Siegel concludes, "The doctors that remain in this expanded system will be even more overwhelmed than we are now," adding, "I wouldn't want to be a patient when that happens" (Siegel, Wall Street Journal, 4/17).