The Supreme Court today upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in a 5-4 decision. As a Doctor of Optometry, I stand to make a fortune off of this bill, but I have two huge problems with it. One, the quality of care is likely to decrease and two, the “fortune” I make will be paid in dollars and my fear is that those dollars won’t be worth the paper they’re printed on.
Supreme Court ruling will lead to an increased demand on healthcare systems.
It is unfortunate that healthcare has become a commodity in our country. Many patients do not receive the care they need due to its cost. Millions of uninsured Americans will be able to receive eye examinations and other healthcare thanks to the upheld ruling. There is no doubt that the potential number of patients who have access to see me (while using insurance) will increase. I am thrilled that patients’ access to healthcare will likely increase under Obamacare. It’s not what, but how. I fear the repercussions of the quality and cost of Obamacare.
How will doctors handle the increased demand?
- Increase the number of doctors. It takes years to build and credential new medical schools and 4-7 or more years to train new doctors once a new school is up and running. The number of new doctors is unlikely to dramatically increase any time soon.
- Increase the productivity of the doctors. Increasing doctor productivity is the easiest solution to the increased demand. To see more patients doctors will have to increase their available appointment spots in a day by either working more hours or seeing more patients per hour. I have always prided myself in giving top-quality examinations where patients are seen in a timely manner and have plenty of question-and-answer time with me. If I increase my appointment spots the time allotted to each patient decreases. It’s simple math. I will have less time to ensure my patients have received the highest quality examination and that they leave with all of their questions and concerns addressed fully. Waiting room times will certainly increase. Doctors will be forced to delegate more responsibility of patient care to staff, who are extremely well-trained, but who are not doctors. Quality of healthcare is likely to decrease under Obamacare.
Risk of inflation
How will the government pay for this bill? The answer is simple. By printing more money. Inflation will cripple our already weak economy and increase our national debt. Obamacare is too large, too spendy, and not sustainable. Though I stand to make a lot of dollars out of this bill I will be required to give lower quality exams to more patients for every an inflated dollar. This sounds like a bad deal for everybody.