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Buyer Beware: ObamaCare Means Access to Fewer Doctors

March 20, 2014 J,

 Buyer Beware: ObamaCare Means Access to Fewer Doctors

(Click HERE for a printable pdf version.)

AFP-Arizona believes that everyone in Arizona should have high-quality, affordable health insurance.  But that’s precisely why ObamaCare is a bad deal for most Arizonans.  Here are some points health care consumers need to consider before enrolling in ObamaCare:

•  ObamaCare exchange or “marketplace” plans have fewer doctors.  Across the country, millions of Americans have lost insurance plans they liked and have been forced into shopping in the ObamaCare exchanges.  But many doctors are not participating in the ObamaCare insurance exchange systems.  Here in Arizona, provider networks in the exchange have limited numbers of primary care physicians and specialists, and access to fewer hospitals — meaning that some patients may have long drives to the nearest hospitals covered by their plans.

•  Medicaid is a second-class health insurance system. In Arizona, 23 percent of doctors tell the Kaiser Family Foundation they won’t take Medicaid/AHCCCS patients.  Combine large increases in the Medicaid population with a declining number of doctors, and the result will be longer waiting times for patients.  In medicine, waiting longer to see specialists often means discomfort, disability and death.  To read more about the human cost of the Medicaid expansion, go to this website:  http://tinyurl.com/azhuman

•  Seniors may not be able to keep their doctors.  ObamaCare’s cuts to the Medicare Advantage program for low-income seniors could result in seniors discovering “that a doctor they had a relationship with is no longer in the network.”  In fact, reduced access to doctors is part of the plan: ObamaCare architect Ezekiel Emanuel recently stated in an interview that Americans who want to keep their doctors will have to pay more for that privilege.  Also, seniors should beware of fraudsters trying to sign them up for new Medicare programs under ObamaCare — seniors do not have to enroll in any new health plans under ObamaCare.

• Get ready for higher premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs. Insurance premiums have already increased greatly due to ObamaCare’s new coverage mandates, and health industry officials now estimate that premiums will double in 2015. At the same time as premiums have gone up, so have deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.

•  The HealthCare.gov website has significant security problems.  Consumers may wish to exercise caution about giving sensitive personal information (Social Security numbers, birthdates, wealth and income data, etc) to a notoriously glitchy website.  Also, the ObamaCare Navigators who have been hired to help individuals sign on to HealthCare.gov, and who will have access to your personal information, are not required to have criminal background checks.

For more information, visit www.obamacareriskfactors.com or contact AFP-Arizona director Tom Jenney at tjenney@afphq.org. AFP-Arizona’s website is www.aztaxpayers.org

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