#Obamacare train wreck: thousands of elderly losing the doctors they like

**Posted by Phineas

"Obamacare rolls on"
“Obamacare rolls on”

Well, that’s not fair of me. Elderly, ill New Yorkers on the Medicare Advantage program actually have a choice: they can give up their doctor and take whomever their insurance will give them (whether they like that person or not); they can give up their insurance and pay for the doctor themselves; or they can try to find a plan their doctor is part of… and probably pay a lot more. Shockingly, many of these people are unhappy with their Brave New World:

The are 2.6 million elderly New Yorkers who receive Medicare, the public heath-insurance program for the elderly.

But one in three patients — nearly 900,000 — are enrolled in Advantage, Medicare HMOs run by private insurers.

Dr. Jonathan Leibowitz, who serves 30 patients under Medicare Advantage at his Brooklyn practice, said he was blindsided by UnitedHealthcare’s decision to give him the boot.

“A patient can’t see his doctor? What are they doing!” he asked.

They’re only doing what’s economically rational for the company, Doc, given the perverse incentives created by Obamacare.

And how do patients feel about this?

…Wilma Streicher, 76, was equally baffled. “Of course I want to keep Dr. Leibowitz. I don’t see why they want to push him out,” she said.

Patients of other doctors faced the same dire situation. Lung-cancer patient Jeannette Campregon, 79, received a letter from EmblemHealth saying that her internist, George Ruggiero, was terminated from her VIP High Option Medicare Advantage network.

Emblem notified her she could stay in her current plan and choose another doctor, pick a different plan to keep her doctor or call a customer-service rep for help.

“I’m going absolutely nuts,” said Campregon, who got conflicting information from three different service reps. “I don’t want to change my doctor!”

Ingrates and liars! Amanda Marcotte would demand they show a screenshot or it didn’t happen! They’re obviously under the delusion that the President said they could keep their doctor if they liked their doctor. How stupid, how…. Oh, wait:

In reality, this is no laughing matter. Anyone who’s had to deal with an elderly relative undergoing treatment knows just how important it is to the success of that treatment for that person to like and trust their doctor. More confidence, less stress, and a greater willingness to undergo what’s needed to get better. I can attest from painful personal experience how important the doctor-patient relationship is to these people, as I’m sure many of you can, too.

But now Obamacare is ripping all that up, in many cases threatening relationships built up over decades. And if it’s happening in New York, you can bet it’s happening across the nation, too.:

And here’s the devastating statistic you’ll see cited until the numbers change:

Over 500,000 individuals have seen their insurance policies cancelled in just 3 states. In all 50 states, only 476,000 applications have been “filed” in an exchange.

In short, Obamacare has caused more people to lose their health insurance than gain it so far.

Even if Obamacare were, by some miracle, repealed tomorrow, the carnage left in Obamacare’s wake is tremendous. Not just economically, vast though the disruption of the insurance markets has been, so far, but also on a very personal level, as we’ve seen in the Post article. And yet these are some of the very people Obama and his Pied Pipers claimed over and over would be helped by their new wonder-law.

What the Democrats have unleashed in their arrogance and hubris is unforgivable, and we can only hope voters make them pay a terrible price at the ballot box.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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