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Obamacare: The War on Doctors (and Everyone Else)

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RUSH: Public support for President Obama's health care law is languishing at its lowest level since passage four years ago, according to an Associated Press-GfK survey.  Twenty-six percent of Americans support the Affordable Care Act.  Even fewer, 13%, think that it will be completely repealed.  A narrow majority expects the law to be further implemented with minor changes.  Impressions of the health care rollout, while low, have improved slightly.  They go on to say only 5% of Americans say the launch of the insurance exchanges has gone very or extremely well.  The number who think it's gone at least somewhat well has improved from 12% to 26%.

So they're doing everything they can at the AP to find good news here, but there isn't any good news to be found.  Twenty-six percent.  And not to be repetitive, but, folks, this disaster has not fully reached people yet.  If you have been subjected to any kind of a waiver or a delay, whatever problems you've encountered up 'til now are gonna be dwarfed by the reality that hits you when your waivers expire.  You're going to find out that the insurance policy that you can afford does not have a hospital in its network, for example.  You're just gonna be amazed. You're gonna end up realizing that all this is is a transfer of wealth. 

You know what Obamacare really is?  It isn't about health care, and it really isn't about health insurance.  It is about continuing to transfer wealth from producers to non-producers.  It is about subsidizing people who are not working and earning income, paying for them to have health care, paying for them to have health insurance.  That's really what this is all about at the end of the day, and it's so blatant that when all of these waivers expire, people are going to see this. 

Now, these waivers will expire after the elections.  A couple of stories to illustrate what I'm talking about.  First, David Hogberg at The Federalist: "Celebrating Another Phony Obamacare Milestone --  This week, the Department of Health and Human Services reported that enrollment in the ObamaCare exchanges had reached 6 million. On Wednesday the Administration said that the March 31 deadline would be extended into April for people who had trouble signing up through the website.  But, well that was yesterday.  From today’s HHS release: Millions of Americans have gotten health coverage through the Marketplace in the last five months. And there is still time left for you to join them.  But you need to act now.  The deadline to enroll for coverage this year is Monday, March 31."

Now, wait.  It was just yesterday and the day before that they moved that.  Now they're back to March 31st?  And what's gonna happen is, once March 31st rolls around, three days from now, that will be Monday, the Regime will probably say that there's still time to sign up.  What's happening here is that the administration is making this stuff up as they go.  They literally are making it up as they go.  There is no working program here.  There is no functioning piece of legislation.  This rollout, this implementation is blown to smithereens, and it really is throwing everything up against the wall on a daily basis to see what sticks.  They don't even know who has paid.  Maybe my all-time favorite statistic in all of this, they don't know how many people have enrolled, but they tell us, "Oh, yeah, we got six million," but they don't know. 

They don't know how many have paid because the website does not have a mechanism at the back end to report that.  There is no such back end on the website.  How stupid is it?  Or how intentional is it?  Wait a second.  Snerdley's in there, "How stupid is it to open up a business and they have no idea who's paying?"  This isn't a business.  They're not in competition with anybody.  What do you mean?  They can do whatever they want.  How stupid... (interruption)  How stupid... (interruption)  They've had three years to put the back end in it and they still haven't done it!  The question is long past the degree of incompetence here.  It's long past that.  (interruption)  The questions need to change now.  What is the real purpose?

Why would you build a website that cannot record payment and signify insurance companies that policies have been purchased?  Why don't you have that in the website?  I've got two other things I want to share.  One of them is a column by Ann Coulter, which is really a dynamite column on health care.  And the other is a letter.  A doctor has written a letter.  "Alabama Representative Mo Brooks read aloud a letter sent to him by Dr. Marlin Gill of Decatur. The letter holds nothing back while detailing the excessive costs and regulations that Dr. Gill calls Obamacare’s 'war against doctors.'"  Here is the letter.  I'm gonna read it to you. 

Dear Congressman Brooks,

As a practicing family physician, I plead for help against what I can best characterize as Washington’s war against doctors.

The medical profession has never before remotely approached today’s stress, work hours, wasted costs, decreased efficiency, and declining ability to focus on patient care.

In our community alone, at least 6 doctors have left patient care for administrative positions, to start a concierge practice, or retire altogether.

Doctors are smothered by destructive regulations that add costs, raise our overhead and ‘gum up the works,’ making patient treatment slower and less efficient, thus forcing doctors to focus on things other than patient care and reduce the number of patients we can help each day.

I spend more time at work than at any time in my 27 years of practice and more of that time is spent on administrative tasks and entering useless data into a computer rather than helping sick patients.

Doctors have been forced by ill-informed bureaucrats to implement electronic medical records ('EMR') that, in our four doctor practice, costs well over $100,000 plus continuing yearly operational costs . . . all of which does not help take care of one patient while driving up the cost of every patient’s health care.

If I may take a brief time-out here for a little editorial comment.  This is classic.  These high-tech leftists have come up with this brilliant Obamacare plan, and one of the aspects here is the implementation of electronic medical records, EMR, and every doctor's office has to do it. They think it's so cool, "Oh, yeah, everything digitized." Well, somebody has to input the data.  You know, all this high-tech stuff is fine and dandy, and it works really well, but you've gotta have the data in all this software for it to matter.  And somebody has to input it.  This doctor's point is, we're doing it.  We're wasting all this time updating data so people can play around with computer programs.  And we're not treating patients, and it's costing us a hundred thousand dollars to do this.  And it isn't necessary. 

"Washington’s electronic medical records requirement makes our medical practice much slower and less efficient, forcing our doctors to treat fewer patients per day than we did before the EMR mandate.  To make matters worse --" You know, I can give you an example of this.  Way, way back when I got my... Well, it wasn't my first Macintosh, but some brave new technological advancement had been made in contact databases. My computer IT guy was just thrilled. "Oh, man, this is so great!  Let me show you what you can do."  He started showing me how I could do things. I said, "Okay, well, what do I have to do to get all these people I know into that database?" 

He started showing me how to type a person's name in that field, and then the middle name in that field. I said, "I've gotta do this for everybody I know?"  "Well, yeah."  I said, "Well, that's fine.  I'll talk to you in five years when I have time to finish this."  I mean, it's all a revolution, it's all wonderful, don't misunderstand. But this is not what doctors go into business to do, to fill out data fields and digitize these records. 

(New Castrati impression) "Mr. Limbaugh, why don't they get off their high horse and hire somebody?" They don't have the money.  This is the thing. You libs think everybody's just got a bottomless pit of money like the Koch brothers, or when the federal government comes down the pike and says, "Oh, that costs a hundred grand? Fine, here's the check. Go complete my database." 

It doesn't work that way. 

People don't have that kind of money laying around, and they don't have that kind of time.  Now, after it's all done, yeah, it is magical. But you've got a paper Rolodex. If somebody can come up with a way to show it to your computer and the data ends up in the contact data, then we're talking.  If somebody can come up with a way to enter data into a database without having to type it, then we're talking.

And that'll happening someday.  You'll be able to speak it.  Well, you can now. If you trust your dictation program, you can do that now, and it's much faster than typing.  But still it takes the time to do it, and this guy is saying: We don't have the time; we don't have the money. He said, "In addition to the electronic medical records burden, we face a mandate to use the ICD-10 coding system, a new set of reimbursement diagnosis codes.

"The current ICD-9 coding system uses roughly 13,000 codes. The new ICD-10 coding system uses a staggering 70,000 new and completely different codes, thus dramatically slowing doctors down due to the unnecessary complexity and sheer numbers of codes that must be learned. The cost of this new ICD-10 coding system for our small practice is roughly $80,000..."

This is after they spend a hundred grand on electronic medical records. 

This is, again, "driving up health care costs without one iota of improvement in health care quality."  The costs of health care is skyrocketing "without one iota of improvement" in the quality of health care.  You guys have created a massive computer database for the geeks and the nerds to play with after we finish inputting the data. We don't have time to treat patients, and we don't have the money to do all of this.

"Finally," he writes in his letter, "doctors face nonpayment by patients with Obamacare. These patients may or may not be paying their premiums and we have no way of verifying this." Of course that's true, because HealthCare.gov doesn't have any back end. So people who've bought health insurance don't know that they've paid for it. Even if they have paid for it, the website does not consistently record the payment to the insurance company. 

He said, "No business can operate" like this, Mr. Congressman. 

Meaning: No way we can verify whether we're being paid or not.  How in the world can we say in business, if we can't even determine who is and who isn't paying us?  "On behalf of the medical profession, I ask that Washington stop the implementation of the ICD-10 coding system, repeal the Affordable Care Act, and replace it with a better law written with the input of real doctors who will actually treat patients covered by it. 

"America has enjoyed the best health care the world has ever known. That health care is in jeopardy because physicians cannot survive Washington's 'war on doctors' without relief." Folks, now, you might not have any sympathy for doctors; I don't know.  But it's the real world to the guy and his colleagues.  For every doctor that has this list of specific complaints comes a patient that will have specific complaints.

It's a hospital that will have specific complaints, an insurance company that'll have specific complaints.  The point is, it isn't working for anybody, and none of this was told in advance this was gonna happen.  Doctors weren't told any of this.  Nobody read the bill.  It was voted on and passed by one vote more than necessary, every vote a Democrat, and they made it a point.  They specifically passed this bill without anybody knowing what was in it so that by the time people learned, it would be too late. 

This has been a scam from the get-go.  

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