Friday, August 5, 2011

Intrusion Underway

On the infamous day of March 22, 2010, Obamacare was shoved through the legislative process in an underhanded way, against the will and outcry of the American people. Supporters have used a couple of tactics since then: 1. be as quiet as possible about it; 2. say, “See, you haven’t even noticed any changes.” Really, how often do you hear casual observers say, “Things are so much better now when I go to a doctor”? 

Some of the monstrous takeover of 1/6 of the US economy sets in sometime in the future—so that we won’t have too much reason for outcry prior to the 2012 election. But little bits of it are already infiltrating our regular private lives. I encountered evidence of some of this infiltration when I went to the chiropractor on Tuesday. 

I would rather not talk about my health, but let’s just say that I go to this chiropractor pretty regularly and have for a decade. I go not just for spinal adjustment but also an alternative approach to allergy treatment. My insurance has been good enough to reimburse part of the office visit most of this time because chiropractic is covered. But because of some legal rigmarole, this changed a few months ago. The new rule is that he can only give a receipt for chiropractic if he refuses to do the other treatment that visit. One of his concerns is that the difficulty will be great enough that he may want to get out of chiropractic altogether and just do the alternative care—which would be an additional loss of care to me. 

So far this isn’t specifically related to Obamacare, just an additional frustration. I have responded by paying out of pocket, as I do for much of my medical care, simply because the insurance bureaucracy does not serve me well. Up until now I have felt fairly safe that this chiropractic-plus-other care would remain so far off the grid that it would be untouched. My doctor doesn’t process insurance for anyone. For chiropractic-only care the receipt must be paid at time of service and then turned in for reimbursement by the patient. He never deals with Medicare in any way. 

Full-size Flowchart Image Here
But recently he was informed that, because of new regulations in Obamacare, he must undergo training to handle Medicare. “But I don’t handle Medicare,” he reminded the regulator. “You still have to take the training—for the safety of the public,” the regulator informed him. It is an eight-hour course. He must pay for the training himself. He will never use it

“How will it improve safety for the public, since I don’t handle Medicare?” 

“You have to go through the training, for the safety of the public,” the regulator replied, in a way that sounded completely disconnected from the reality at hand. 

Does this have anything to do with improving my medical care? No. Does it have anything to do with making the medical care I have chosen more affordable? No. Does it have anything to do with making the medical care I choose more available? Just the opposite. Does it in any way improve care for either the regular patient like me or the Medicare patient? In no way at all. 

Does it have anything to do with government intrusion into the relationship between me and my chosen health care provider? Yes. Yes it does. And that is not an unfortunate by-product of Obamacare; that is the purpose.

No comments:

Post a Comment