There’s nothing like a good “I told you so” except when it comes to the complete and utter desolation of an entire free market industry. However, Doctors in California, the state where the deep veins run freely with blue blood, are about to find out the hard way they’ve set themselves up for failure.
A Washington Examiner article today is making the claim “Independent insurance brokers who work with both insurance companies and doctor networks estimate that about 70 percent of California’s 104,000 licensed doctors are boycotting the exchange.”
California offers one of the lowest government reimbursement rates in the country — 30 percent lower than federal Medicare payments. And reimbursement rates for some procedures are even lower.
In other states, Medicare pays doctors $76 for return-office visits. But in California, Medi-Cal’s reimbursement is $24, according to Dr. Theodore M. Mazer, a San Diego ear, nose and throat doctor.
If you need more reasons to not trust the state of Califorinia, here are a few more. Doctors were sent letters asking if they would like to participate in certain insurance agencies through the exchanges. The letters explained they would be paid a different amount but did not inform physicians what that amount would be. Understanding it would likely be considerably less, most Doctors replied with a big fat “no.”
For some reason Obamacare fails to understand Doctors like to get paid for their work. Something about American and wanting to get paid for valuable services, crazy I know.
However, being California, they’ve listed Doctors on the Covered California’s website as participating anyway when the Doctors never agreed. Donald Waters, executive director of the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association, referred to the whole thing as a “shell-game”.
Covered California is stating they believe 85% of Doctors will be participating in the exchange. It was a number pulled magically out of the smog filled air since no numbers of any kind were produced.
Doctor participation in California will be like everything else concerning Obamacare, on a remains to be seen basis. But so far it looks like it’s in dire need of some life support. Free markets again…STAT!