WASHINGTON, June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- No matter what way the Supreme Court rules on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, doctors say that it will have little impact on patients' access to medical care, according to "The Future of Medicine: What's Wrong, Who's to Blame and What Will Fix It," a survey conducted by the Doctor Patient Medical Association (DPMA).
"Doctors on the frontlines clearly understand what Washington does not," says Kathryn Serkes, DPMA Chairman. "Government-mandated 'coverage' is not the same thing as actual medical care. Whether the mandate is overturned or stands, whether the Medicaid expansion is overturned or stand, we'll still have millions who need medical care."
Survey results show that almost 3 out of 4 (72%) doctors say that the individual insurance mandate does NOT improve access to actual medical care. "The major problem is the politicians equating health 'insurance' with 'health care," comments a family doctor.
"Doctors think that the individual insurance mandate and the massive expansion of Medicaid in PPACA are the government version of bait-and-switch tactics – promising something that you know you can't deliver," says Serkes
"What PPACA does is increase patients' access to a piece of paper – that says they are 'covered' by insurance or 'enrolled' in Medicaid or Medicare, says Serkes. " But paper promises don't translate to actual medical care when doctors can't afford to see patients at the lowball payments, and patients have to jump through bureaucratic hoops set up by the government."
That's particularly apparent when it comes to Medicaid.
Doctors say that a key government provision in the Affordable Care Act – the huge expansion of Medicaid enrollees – is likely to backfire, as almost half (49%) say they will stop accepting Medicaid patients.
If government would just get out of their way, more than HALF would be willing to treat some of those patients for free."I want to focus on what is best for my patients and not what a government official deems cost effective...I would be willing to do charity care weekly for the poor and underinsured," writes a family practitioner in Washington state.
NOTE: The Doctor Patient Medical Assn. is a non-partisan group working for freedom in medicine for doctors AND patients. Our goal is increased choice and access to medical care.