Keep Your Doctor Under ObamaCare? No, One Lady Finds
by Judy Kent
Washington DC - President Obama's promise that Americans can keep both their health plan and their doctor under ObamaCare is being broken, says David Hogberg, Ph.D., senior fellow for health care policy at the National Center for Public Policy Research.
The Daily Caller today has published an article by Hogberg in which he tells the detailed story of a specific woman who may lose both her insurance and physician because of ObamaCare.
The article recounts how Washington D.C. resident Natalie Powell (not her real name) is struggling with the need for neck surgery. While going through this ordeal, she wants to keep her insurance, which she has had since 2008, and her primary-care physician, whom she has been seeing since 2003.
"President Obama promised that people would not lose their health plan or doctor due to his health care overhaul," said Hogberg. "People like Natalie Powell may put the lie to that promise."
The problem lies in the October 2012 decision of the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority, which runs the ObamaCare insurance exchange in D.C, that individuals and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees will not be allowed to purchase insurance outside the exchange. At this point, Natalie does not know if her insurance will be sold on the exchange. If it is not, the decision by the D.C. Exchange prevents her from buying it elsewhere.
The rub is that her primary-care physician is no longer accepting new insurance. "She's a very popular doctor," Natalie said. "She had all but stopped taking new HMO [health maintenance organization] policies when I managed to get my first appointment with her. Now, she's booked. She's not even taking any new patients."
Natalie would like to take a "wait and see" approach to her neck problems in the hope that she'll be able to manage the pain without an operation. But with the prospect of losing her insurance and physician, she may decide to go forward with an operation this year.
Natalie voted for Obama in 2008 and she now feels betrayed. "I can't say how disappointed I am because I believed him," she laments.
Read "ObamaCare: A Promise Betrayed" by David Hogberg at the Daily Caller here.
David Hogberg, Ph.D., is a health care policy analyst for the National Center for Public Policy Research. Previously, Dr. Hogberg was a Washington Correspondent for Investor's Business Daily, specializing in his coverage of health care and Medicare. Prior to IBD, he worked as a policy analyst studying health care and other issues for various think-tanks, including the National Center for Public Policy Research, and for the office of Representative Jeff Fortenberry. Dr. Hogberg holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Iowa. He is currently working on a book entitled Medicare's Victims: How The U.S. Government's Largest Health Care System Harms Patients And Impairs Physicians.