B.I.T.E. #3 — Don’t Mess with Me and My Doctor! (An American Sacred Cow)

One thing I can guarantee about health care reform is this: anything that messes with Americans and their relationships with their personal doctors is not acceptable and non-negotiable. When anyone messes with this American sacred cow it strikes a raw nerve with its people.
 If this is your first time visiting “The EHI One Bite Connection” I want to refer you to B.I.T.E. #2 on this blog to fully understand what I’m going to share with you here in B.I.T.E. #3.
There are many consequences that will result if a public plan run by the government is introduced. As I said in B.I.T.E. #2 the experts predict within two years the private health insurance market will not exist. When this outcome occurs I have two questions for you:

 — How important is your relationship with your personal physician?

 — Are you willing to give up that relationship?

The single-payer healthcare system that will most likely evolve will be just like the one in Canada. This would be like having one giant HMO. Just ask your present doctor if they are not currently part of an HMO, why aren’t they? They will tell you that they could not be profitable enough based on the low level of reimbursement paid by the HMO. Under a public plan there are a number of variables that will affect your relationship with your doctor:

1 — If your doctor does not agree and accept the public plan’s low reimbursements, you cannot use that doctor. (Loss of freedom #1)

2 — In Canada it is against the law to pay a doctor under the table in cash for any services, no matter what your circumstances. The government dictates the medical necessity of services, not your doctor. (Loss of freedom #2)

3 — A public plan will drive away the best quality doctors because they will elect to practice medicine in countries outside of the US. If you want to use these top doctors you will have to pay with cash and travel outside of the United States to access their services. (Loss of freedom #3)

 America used to be synonymous with freedom. Under our current healthcare system 85% of Americans have the freedom to choose which doctor they want to see and when they want to see that doctor. They can also choose to shop around for a better doctor or one that costs less if they choose to do so.

 Introducing a public plan will force the 85% currently covered to jeopardize this freedom of choice. Health care reform needs to bring a solution that offers similar freedom of choice to the 15% that currently don’t have access to that freedom. Otherwise we will be “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”.

Don’t just take my word for it, I challenge anyone reading this to ask your personal doctor, what would happen to your patient-to-physician relationship if this public plan becomes a reality?

Matthew T. Berrafato

Elephant Hunter