Physicians warn that the ill effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will be irreversible, and it needs to be repealed and defunded before implementation proceeds any further.
On the eve of a vote on a House bill to repeal the Act, some experts say that the bill will “not necessarily” kill jobs.
“What if your doctor told you that a radical, unprecedented operation would ‘not necessarily’ kill you?” asked Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
Republicans have presented many ways in which PPACA could damage the economy. Is not knowing whether they are right a reason to steam ahead with implementing a law that will undoubtedly have an enormous impact on one-sixth of the economy?
One reason it is impossible to know all the consequences is that the rules have not yet been written. The Department of Health and Human Services has already missed deadlines by months, for example, on the minimum loss ratio for insurers, but businesses face hard deadlines. Much of the bill does not even take effect until 2014.
Businesses cannot prudently plan to expand without knowing what rules they will be required to follow. Moreover, the rules so far have been so onerous that hundreds are lining up to request waivers—which are likely to be granted, or not, based on political influences.
AARP, which paid much of the $121 million for pro-PPACA ads, only has to pay out 65% of Medigap premiums for benefits, while Medicare Advantage plans have to pay out 85%.
Surveys have shown that close to half of physicians may respond by restricting or closing their practices entirely. Would they really do this? Before the National Health Service was enacted, England had 44,000 doctors. By 1971, it had only 17,000.
Organized medicine is telling doctors that small practices probably won’t be able to afford the vastly increased compliance requirements. Thus, they are urged to form “accountable care organizations” (ACOs) in order to survive.
ACOs have been called “HMOs on steroids.” Their “incentives” are designed to restrict access to expensive care. They don’t have bureaucratic death panels; they just reward doctors who save money for the Plan.
“We need to repeal this monstrous bill,” said Dr. Orient. “Then we need to discuss how to solve our problems in medicine instead of making them worse.”
AAPS was founded in 1943 and represents physicians in all specialties.