by Steve Lancaster 5/2/14
I had a visit with my GP yesterday. He says that I am in wonderful shape for a man of 80, I’m 66 :). One of the realities of Obamacare is the impact on his business. On registering I was informed that I could now sign up for online access to my medical records, “seriously! Why I ask the nice office clerk would I want my records available to any hacker?” Her reply was just that I could opt out if I wanted. I resolved to have a chat with Doc Jim when I saw him.
Jim and his fellows run a clinic in the medical district of our town. The demographic is mostly middle-class with many patients who have had quality insurance for most of their working lives and are employees of the university or kin of university staff. Jim told me that as a business decision in 2007 they decided to stop taking new patients on Medicare. They are continuing to treat those who came to them before the cut-off and those whose status because of age and retirement are now on Medicare. Jim told me that the payment from Medicare seldom covers his expenses and there is no way he can care for patients whose ability to pay is greater if he is forced to accept new Medicare patients.
The online access to medical records is a part of Obamacare mandates. Jim does not like it for many reasons, security being the main reason, but also the added expense to his business to maintain and attempt to keep secure records. “If the NSA can hack my phone does anyone think my web site is secure?” I don’t think that rhetorical question even needs to be addressed. Jim said that he now spends at least two hours daily dealing with Obamacare paperwork and not seeing patients and the time to get an appointment has lengthened from about a month to 4 months often longer.
Jim is a professional and is attempting to deal with a situation that stifles his ability to make a living. He is about to turn 60 and is giving real thought to retirement, not because he does not love what he does but because he is frustrated, angry and depressed that he cannot do what he loves because of government. How many Dr. Jims are there about to make the same decision?
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