On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal posted an article by Scott Gottlieb discussing the impact of Obamacare on doctors. The article points out that the regulations in Obamacare will move doctors toward being 40-hour week employees rather than being in charge of their own offices.
The article reports:
…Because when doctors practice in small offices, it is hard for Washington to regulate what they do. There are too many of them, and the government is too remote. It is far easier for federal agencies to regulate physicians if they work for big hospitals. So ObamaCare shifts money to favor the delivery of outpatient care through hospital-owned networks.
The irony is that in the name of lowering costs, ObamaCare will almost certainly make the practice of medicine more expensive. It turns out that when doctors become salaried hospital employees, their overall productivity falls.
This is another result of government by special interest groups. In this particular case, the special interest group is the unions.
The article explains:
All of this reduced productivity translates into the loss of what should be a critical factor in the effort to offer more health care while containing costs. Yet hospitals aren’t buying doctors’ practices because they want to reform the delivery of medical care. They are making these purchases to gain local market share and develop monopolies. They are also exploiting an arbitrage opportunity presented by Medicare‘s billing schemes, which pay more for many services when they are delivered at a hospital instead of an outpatient doctor’s office.
This billing structure exists because hospitals are politically favored in Washington. Their mostly unionized workforces give them political power, as does their status as big employers in congressional districts.
This is another example of a law regulating health care that was written without concern for the impact it would have on medical care for individuals in this country. The law was written with special interest groups and government control in mind. It needs to be repealed and rewritten with the needs of American citizens in mind.