No matter what way the Supreme Court rules on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, doctors say that it will have little impact on patients’ access to medical care, according to "The Future of Medicine: What's Wrong, Who's to Blame and What Will Fix It," a survey conducted by the Doctor Patient Medical Association.
“Doctors on the frontlines clearly understand what Washington does not,” says Kathryn Serkes, DPMA Chairman. “Government-mandated 'coverage' is not the same thing as actual medical care. Whether the mandate is overturned or stands, whether the Medicaid expansion is overturned or stand, we'll still have millions who need medical care.”
About three out of four doctors (72 percent) say that the individual insurance mandate does not improve access to actual medical care. One family doctor surveyed commented, “The major problem is the politicians equating health insurance with health care.”
“Doctors think that the individual insurance mandate and the massive expansion of Medicaid in PPACA are the government version of bait-and-switch tactics—promising something that you know you can’t deliver,” Serkes says.
“What PPACA does is increase patients’ access to a piece of paper—that says they are ‘covered’ by insurance or ‘enrolled’ in Medicaid or Medicare,” she says. “But paper promises don’t translate to actual medical care when doctors can’t afford to see patients at the lowball payments, and patients have to jump through bureaucratic hoops set up by the government.”
That’s particularly apparent when it comes to Medicaid.
Doctors say that a key government provision in the PPACA— the huge expansion of Medicaid enrollees - is likely to backfire, as half say they will stop accepting Medicaid patients.
More than half of doctors said they would be willing to treat some of those patients for free if government would just get out of their way.