Government Buries Evidence of Poor Access to Care under Obamacare

Thank providence for USA Today, which has given us yet another story describing how poor access to health care is under Obamacare.

People who fell for navigators’ sales pitches and signed up for Obamacare are discovering that it is junk insurance:

“The exchanges have become very much like Medicaid,” says Andrew Kleinman, a plastic surgeon and president of the Medical Society of the State of New York. “Physicians who are in solo practices have to be careful to not take too many patients reimbursed at lower rates or they’re not going to be in business very long.”

Kleinman says his members complain rates can be 50% lower than commercial plans.

“I definitely feel like a bad person who is leeching off the system when I call the doctors’ offices,” she says. Shawn Smith of Seymour, Ind., spent about five months trying to find a primary care doctor on the network who would take her with a new, subsidized silver-level ACA insurance plan.

Note: This person had a silver plan, not a bargain basement bronze plan.

The Administration, on the other hand, is doing whatever it can to avoid exposing these stories. When Obamacare was passed, its supporters made a big show about how Obamacare would force health insurers to be “transparent” about coverage. Transparency was even regulated!

At least, it was regulated — until now, when people might value it for next year’s enrollment:

With health insurance marketplaces about to open for 2015 enrollment, the Obama administration has told insurance companies that it will delay requirements for them to disclose data on the number of people enrolled, the number of claims denied and the costs to consumers for specific services.

For months, insurers have been asking the administration if they had to comply with two sections of the Affordable Care Act that require “transparency in coverage.”

In a bulletin sent to insurers last week, the administration said, “We do not intend to enforce the transparency requirements until we provide further guidance.” (Robert Pear, New York Times)

Well, I suppose that if people cannot get an appointment with a physician, it is pretty hard to disclose how much their treatment cost.

Comments (4)

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  1. Reeves says:

    transparency in healthcare is much easier said than done

  2. John Fembup says:

    “It is junk insurance”

    Aw, say it ain’t so, John, say it ain’t so!

  3. Don Levit says:

    How did the insurers negotiate such great rates for their policyholders?
    Are they doing the same off the exchanges
    Are not the networks to be similar off the exchanges?

    • John R. Graham says:

      I’m afraid not. We’ve written a lot at the blog about how narrow networks are on exchange plans, versus off-exchange plans.