When the Democrats released their CIA “torture report”, they should have included a section on their signature legislation- the Obamacare “torture report.” American patients across the country are enduring prolonged infirmity, needless pain and suffering, bedridden, immobilized, and worse waiting to receive the medical care they need and want, because it is denied or has yet to be approved by their insurance companies.
Obamacare, our national health care law, transforms the role of the health insurance company from providing risk management and financial protection in the face of a catastrophic medical event to making day to day and life and death medical decisions for us, effectively practicing medicine.
Under Obamacare, all Americans are forced by the Federal government to purchase “qualified healthcare plans” or face financial punishment from the government in the form of taxation. The Secretary of HHS, a non-doctor political appointee, has the power to determine what constitutes a “qualified plan” and which companies are qualified to sell such plans. The mandate to buy a health plan went into effect for individual Americans last year, and consequences of such government intrusion are coming to light.
Many of my patients are having medical care denied by the very companies from which they are required by federal law to buy coverage.
Here is an example taken from one of my patients, whose qualified plan is sold by Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance:
- My patient comes to me seeking treatment for a medical problem.
- I examine the patient and prescribe a common medication which has proven to completely alleviate this patient’s symptoms.
- The insurance company refuses to cover the prescription whatsoever and sends a letter saying “we cannot approve your request.” (Apparently, a physician’s prescription is now regarded as a request; words matter.)
- The clincher is this concluding paragraph: “This decision doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t receive this medication. Only you and your health care providers can decide whether you need it. But, this decision means that if you do receive the medication, it won’t be covered by your plan.”
Think about this for a moment. Simply replace the word “medication” in the preceding paragraph with the word “surgery,” ” therapy,” “chemotherapy,” “wheelchair,” or whatever medical treatment or device your doctor prescribes, and it is glaringly apparent that the insurance company now has government sanctioned control over our medical care, thus our lives.
Patients are forced to pay for rationers disguised as insurance companies to deny the care they need.
This is a win-win situation for the insurance companies. They are paid huge monthly premiums by all Americans plus government subsidies when indicated. Then they can deny care- meds, surgery, therapy, medical devices…and keep the cash. And wait, there’s more! As a failsafe fallback, the government guarantees the insurance companies a bailout should the need arise.
This is a sham. We are forced under threat of punishment by our government to buy an expensive product that rations, if not denies, our care. The premiums and deductibles are so onerously expensive that patients have no money left to go outside the coercive system to buy the actual indicated care.
Thus, a two tier system is here and now. The extremely wealthy or politically favored can obtain actual medical care. The rest of us cannot. Who needs a death panel when this system exists?
My neurosurgical colleague’s patient waited, incapacitated and in pain, over the holidays for an insurance reviewer to authorize the exact operation the surgeon recommends and has done for years, an operation that will alleviate the neurological impairment, restore the patient’s mobility and relieve the excruciating pain. A week later, the nurse reviewer says the medical reviewer will look at it, but it will most likely be denied. According to other physicians, the review process commonly takes two weeks. The surgeon wanted to do the operation last week; the patient wanted to have the surgery last week. Still in pain, taking pain meds, using a cane, trying to return to work as a coach, the patient continues to wait- just another inconvenient item on the corporate to-do or to-don’t do list. These companies are heartless, and look what’s happening to them.
Insurance companies such as Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, and United are showing profits skyrocketing into the tens of billions of dollars while boasting of decreased healthcare expenditures. They are literally stealing us blind, lame, sick, and in pain, and ultimately dead. The money that should be spent on patients is being pocketed by mafia-style insurance company rationers as a payoff from our statist government for doing their dirty work.
What’s the federal government’s dirty work? 1. Serving as their “money launderer”- laundering our “healthcare” money through “the business” as a mechanism to achieve massive Marxist style redistribution of wealth and 2. Serving as their “Rationer” – rationing, in the words of MIT economist and Obamacare architect, Jonathan Gruber, the “stupid American voters’ ” medical care. Delay it, deny it, price it too high for patients to buy, or pay providers so little they can’t deliver. There are so many ways to do this.
Who can possibly defend this?
Reflect on when President Obama let the cat out of the bag and said: “At least we can let patients know, and your mom know, that you know what, maybe this isn’t gonna help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the painkiller.” Obamacare reigns and the Insurance company is now revealed as the Executioner of Obamacare. I contend that our national health policy constitutes a conflict of interest of diabolical proportion for big government and big insurance.
Things are about to get much worse and more real life as the Employer mandate delay expires and millions more are forced to buy what this government has forced upon us. In Medieval terms, the king commands we pay our lot to the executioner.This is fundamental transformation, and, yes, Dr. Gruber, it is tortuous, precisely as you designed it.