In full disclosure, I’m a psychologist in a busy private practice which is in its 28th year. So I know a bit about health care from the inside, including health insurance. This is a view that few if any politicians have.
Ever since Obamacare was passed, I’ve noticed two things. One, every patient I’ve seen with Obamacare insurance has had gargantuan deductibles, usually in the neighborhood of $3,000 to $5,000. This means that the patient must pay for everything up to that number before insurance kicks in. From a practical point of view, they have no coverage. This illustrates the great lie of government health care, which is the promise of coverage with no access to a doctor.
If that wasn’t bad enough, try the next one on for size. Every spring, to comply with the ACA (Obamacare), I’m asked to turn over the “complete medical record” of a selected few patients for audit. When I tell them I must first ask my patients, they invariably say that the patients have already signed a consent, and that I must surrender the records NOW! Consider for a moment the deeply personal things patients confide in a therapist. My response is, has been, and ever will be: No, I must first talk to my patient and I’ll get back to you. When I call the patients to tell them of this demand, they are uniformly horrified and outraged. But, not to worry: a consent given can be revoked. And every patient I contacted has revoked their consent.
Healthcare should always be between doctor and patient, a bond of trust. I work for the patient, and my primary interest is his well-being and health. This is the way health care has been and should always be. Your doctor should never be an agent of social change or social justice (the government.)
Progressives say that eliminating insurance companies and having one centralized source for claims will save money. As of now, every healthcare professional already submits claims on one form (HCFA 1500), uses standardized codes for billing, and submits claims online. We may realize savings from not having to call for permission for various medical procedures, but that pre-supposes the single-payer (the government) will always says yes. I have my doubts about this. In the end, it’s not much of a saving.
To keep health care between doctor and patient, we must reject single-payer.
Michael Morrongiello, Ph. D.