September 23 2013
The New York Times lets the cat out of the bag this morning with this headline:
Lower Health Insurance Premiums to Come at Cost of Fewer Choices
Actually, this lets the cat sneak quietly out of the bag.
The real story under the relatively anodyne headline is this: if you like your doctor, tough—you probably can’t keep her. But that’s not all. Your choice of physicians will be severely limited by ObamaCare. Some of the big, successful health centers have been eliminated from plans in order to save money.
The New York Times reports:
Federal officials often say that health insurance will cost consumers less than expected under President Obama's health care law. But they rarely mention one big reason: many insurers are significantly limiting the choices of doctors and hospitals available to consumers.
From California to Illinois to New Hampshire, and in many states in between, insurers are driving down premiums by restricting the number of providers who will treat patients in their new health plans.
When insurance marketplaces open on Oct. 1, most of those shopping for coverage will be low- and moderate-income people for whom price is paramount. To hold down costs, insurers say, they have created smaller networks of doctors and hospitals than are typically found in commercial insurance. And those health care providers will, in many cases, be paid less than what they have been receiving from commercial insurers.
In a new study, the Health Research Institute of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the consulting company, says that "insurers passed over major medical centers" when selecting providers in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, among other states.
"Doing so enables health plans to offer lower premiums," the study said. "But the use of narrow networks may also lead to higher out-of-pocket expenses, especially if a patient has a complex medical problem that's being treated at a hospital that has been excluded from their health plan."
Oh, now they tell you—higher out-of-pocket costs. For lower income people. Because some of the big and more respected centers were passed over to bring down premium costs. Bear in mind that I do think patients should pay a bit more of their medical costs, if only to let them know that, medical care is not free and should be wisely used, but the New York Times story makes it clear the degree to which the truths about ObamaCare have been hidden.
Hat tip to NR’s Jim Garaghty for calling my attention to this and also for highlighting two other ObamaCare care horror stories: http://twitchy.com/2013/09/22/thanks-to-obamacare-rep-gardner-opts-out-of-federal-health-care-his-insurance-plan-is-canceled/http://twitchy.com/2013/09/22/thanks-to-obamacare-rep-gardner-opts-out-of-federal-health-care-his-insurance-plan-is-canceled/, who opted out of the federal system, has seen his policy cancelled because of ObamaCare, as has Michelle Malkin.
Twitchy sums up Michelle’s plight:
Health insurers to customers: If you like your plan, you can keep…nah, you’re screwed
So under ObamaCare, you might get a nice card for your wallet that says you’re insured. Good luck with finding a doctor you like.