Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) Responds to Presidential Press Conference on the Affordable Care Act

TUCSON, Ariz., Nov. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a Nov. 14 press conference, President Obama apologized for "fumbling the rollout" of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and said he understood that Americans were "frustrated" when they got notice of cancellation of the health plan they liked, despite his clear, oft repeated promise that they could keep it.

He did not, however, admit to any flaw in the concept, or express willingness to make meaningful change, stated AAPS executive director, Jane M. Orient, M.D.

Instead, Obama said, "But we've got to move forward on this. It took a hundred years for us to even get to the point where we could start talking about and implementing a law to make sure everybody got health insurance."

For nearly a century, there have indeed been repeated attempts to impose compulsory health insurance on Americans, stated Dr. Orient. "This has been variously called socialized medicine, national health insurance, and single payer, and Obama has stated that single payer is his ultimate objective."

Obama referred to 40 million uninsured. So far, he said some 1.5 million attempted to apply, 106,000 got covered (less than 10 percent of those who tried), and 396,000 got added to the Medicaid rolls. Come January, he said, this means that nearly 500,000 will have the "life-changing" experience of having "security in healthcare."

"Advocates of reform keep confusing coverage with care," Dr. Orient pointed out. "In fact, ACA-compliant coverage is likely to erect more barriers to care of the sick, diverting resources to politically preferred services to healthy voters."

Estimates of the number who will lose coverage, tens of millions at least, keep increasing, Dr. Orient noted. These Americans are faced with huge premium increases along with much higher deductibles for a new plan. Obama compares it with forcing new cars to come equipped with costly features like air bags, then requiring everybody to buy a new car right away for their own good.

The destruction of the private individual insurance market is hardly comparable to an air bag, Dr. Orient stated. "And Obama can't resurrect it by saying he'll extend grandfathered status to more plans for a year."

Interestingly, Obama said: "And you know, we didn't go far left and choose an approach that would have been much more disruptive."

AAPS opposes compulsory insurance and favors voluntary arrangements that promote innovation, rather than top-down central planning that sets in stone the incentives that brought us the grossly inflated and rising cost of medical care.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national association founded in 1943 to preserve the patient-physician relationship.

SOURCE Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)



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