When I think of Congress, I am reminded of the Mark Twain quote: “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
After the Robert’s decision from the Supreme Court, there has been talk of repealing Obamacare by many members in Congress. This repeal may have a chance of passing, especially if the November elections result in a Republican Senate and President. I don’t think this is likely, but perhaps… Even so, Congress will not likely be able to repeal the one immutable law that still might be the downfall of Obamacare, that is, the law of unintended consequences.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) stipulates that those who don’t have insurance must obtain such or be faced with a fine or a penalty or a tax or a…whatever. My take on this is that whenever the government extracts money from us it could be construed as a tax.
But I digress. Millions will now be pouring onto the insurance rolls, together with millions more who will be added to the Medicaid registries. With the wave of a wand the government has decreed that these folks will have insurance and this likely means that this huge influx of patients will likely use their benefits at a rate not seen previously. This is especially probable since the bill mandates that insurance coverage for everyone provides goodies heretofore not seen in many insurance products. Given the law of supply and demand (another one of those pesky laws that fall outside the purview of Congress),
I envision that these millions of new patient visits will have to be seen by somebody. Did the ACA also provide an infusion of physicians to take care of these patients? Unlike the U.S. treasury, a medical school can’t just print more doctors when ever more are needed. Couple this concern with the likelihood that many physicians will likely leave medicine altogether or retire early, rather than have their medical practice dictated to them by a top-heavy bureaucratic system that will probably substitute the patient-doctor relationship with a “new age” medical ethic that values the supremacy of the good of the society over the need of the individual. This all in the name of saving health care dollars.
So who will take care of all these people? I can see there being huge shortages of doctors to take care of them on the one hand, or patients being seen by a new cadre of physician’s assistants or nurse practitioners on the other. Either way the manner in which patients receive health care will be changed forever. Either way, the pie-in-the-sky promises and expectations by some of Obamacare will eventually meet with another one of those laws, the law of gravity.
As Blood, Sweat &Tears might have put it- What goes up must come down.