#Obamacare: you may have coverage, but just try to find a doctor

Posted by: Phineas on April 20, 2014 at 4:02 pm

**Posted by Phineas

"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

Now that were a few months into our glorious new healthcare regime, we’re seeing more and more examples of something many predicted after the law was passed in 2010: you may have coverage, but good luck finding a doctor who takes it:

While open enrollment for coverage under the Affordable Care Act is closed, many of the newly insured are finding they can’t find doctors, landing them into a state described as “medical homelessness.”

Rotacare, a free clinic for the uninsured in Mountain View, is dealing with the problem firsthand.

Mirella Nguyen works at the clinic said staffers dutifully helped uninsured clients sign up for Obamacare so they would no longer need the free clinic.

But months later, the clinic’s former patients are coming back to the clinic begging for help. “They’re coming back to us now and saying I can’t find a doctor, “said Nguyen.

Thinn Ong was thrilled to qualify for a subsidy on the health care exchange. She is paying $200 a month in premiums. But the single mother of two is asking, what for?

“Yeah, I sign it. I got it. But where’s my doctor? Who’s my doctor? I don’t know,” said a frustrated Ong.

Nguyen said the newly insured patients checked the physicians’ lists they were provided and were told they weren’t accepting new patients or they did not participate in the plan.

And Nguyen says – while the free clinic isn’t technically supposed to be treating former patents they signed up for insurance, they can’t in good faith turn them away.

Dr. Kevin Grumbach of UCSF called the phenomenon “medical homelessness,” where patients are caught adrift in a system woefully short of primary care doctors.


Meanwhile, the sick and insured can’t get appointments.

“What good is coverage if you can’t use it?” Nguyen said.

(Emphasis added)

“Medical homelessness.” That’s a wonderful term for the chaos caused by Obamacare in provider networks. Not only do you discover that you can’t see the doctor you used to see, the new doctors you try to see may not take your health plan because it either doesn’t reimburse enough, or the regulations are too burdensome. Let’s review a few examples:

  • Thousands of elderly people are losing their insurance in New York. Will they find another doctor who takes Obamacare?
  • Need cancer treatment? Good luck if that top-shelf hospital that used to be on your old plan isn’t on your new one.
  • Thinn Ong in the story above isn’t the first Californian to have doctors turn her away. Maybe she could compare notes with Andrea Redamonti.
  • And one woman has (to date) gone through 96 physicians without finding one who would accept O-care Medicare coverage.

And there are a lot more in the archives.

Obamacare is an anti-constitutional monstrosity that’s not only not helping the people it was meant to help —the previously uninsured— but it’s actively hurting others. There’s only one thing to do with it: repeal it and then burn the legislation and scatter the ashes to the four winds.

And then replace it with something that will work.

Via Rick Moran, who has lots more.

PS: And don’t forget to vote out the idiots who passed it.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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4 Responses to “#Obamacare: you may have coverage, but just try to find a doctor”


  1. Carlos says:

    Yep, pretty much just like the Canadian and British systems that have been touted as medical Beulah Land for the past few decades…

    I don’t find stories like this hard to believe. What I find hard to believe is that there are still voters and elected officials defending this piece of pig poop.

  2. Joy says:

    As Megan McArdle said in one of her Bloomberg articles, “The worse is still to come.” She was talking mostly about the costs. The sad thing is that the President has unilaterally delayed 37-38 rules under Obamacare — many of these delays were done solely to delay the financial impact of Obamacare until after the election. The low-information folks who will probably be encouraged to vote do not know that the costs will increase substantially; that they will not be able to keep or, as the article above demonstrates, they may not be able to find a doctor that will accept them as a patient; they will not be able to use their preferred hospital; the government WILL MOST DEFINITELY come between them and their doctor, and the IPAB is the Death Panel that Sarah Palin warned people about.

    We must get the word out that the President’s claim that 8 million Americans signed up for Obamacare are lies like his claims that we could keep our healthcare plans and our doctors and our costs would go down. The President lies about Obamacare — just as he lied about Benghazi.

  3. The orgasmic chortling accompanying the enactment of this misguided health care law will fade into distant memory once the harsh realities of it set in. It is much the same as the gaiety, jollity, and mirth making of a wedding celebration and the struggle called marriage that comes afterward.

    There is a very wide difference between having health coverage and access to health care.

  4. Carlos says:

    Sad thing is, there’s still just less than 50% of voters who didn’t see this coming, don’t know it’s here and will blame Republicans for its failure in the future.

    Ya just cain’t fix stupid.