Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just a taste of what the United States is headed for with manditory Medicaid.

For those who don't know, Medicaid is the government's "free" health care plan for the poor. It covers optical (every two years, if you can find an eye doctor that accepts it for adults), dental (you can't find a dentist that will accept Medicaid patients over the age of 12--and if you need dentures, sorry, that's not covered), and all major medical (again, if you can find a doctor--fewer are accepting it).

So, why are doctors refusing the government's money? Simple: the government sets their pay schedule at what their "experts" say things should cost, without taking the doctor's expenses into account. Medicaid usually pays about half of what doctors ask, when the price is "reasonable." They pay less if they deem the charges "unreasonable." They don't pay the full bill that even the stingiest private insurance provider pays. They say that even "reasonable" costs aren't "reasonable," without taking into account that the doctor has to pay for the building that the clinic is in, the utilities of that building, the salaries of all of the workers he/she has to hire to keep up with insurance billing paperwork, and for the worker that handles nothing but Medicaid/Medicare billing paperwork. The doctor likely also has a student loan load that's heavier than his/her mortgage.

But, of course, the doctors' expectations of making enough to cover their clinics' bills as well as their own isn't "reasonable," according to a government that voted to cap executive salaries, while giving themselves raises pretty much every year or two.

Where will this end up, should the government force through their mandatory Medicaid ideas?

Here. Here's a small, bitter taste of what's coming.

When the government decrees that there's only this amount of money for paying doctors, the doctors will likely quit doing the stellar job that has people from socialized medicine countries coming here for treatment. And when the government decrees that there will be no more private insurance, and that doctors are not to take payment from anyone but the government, where will all the poor British and Canadians go when they need heart surgery and hip replacements?

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