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Bad medicine: ER nurse knows and fears the reality of ObamaCare

Posted on March 30 2010 7:09 pm
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Pushing an overburdened emergency care system to the brink


By Kerry Allen

As an Emergency Room nurse I am very skeptical of the new health care reform bill – to say the least.  But now that Congress is no longer tied up with this legislative monster, I have a few questions and concerns for them to address.

As a consumer, I would like to know how can the government justify, constitutionally, forcing people to buy insurance. How does the government have the right to punish Americans for making their own consumer choices?

Then when they force you to take the insurance, you don’t get a choice of doctors.  You get whoever is next in line.  This takes away our freedom as consumers and citizens, and removes competition.

As a nurse, I know well that removing competition in health care is dangerous.  Right now hospitals and doctors struggle to keep your business.  Without competition, there is no reason for a doctor or hospital to prioritize success rates or low infection rates. They don’t have to satisfy their consumer. They’re going to get your business – or you wait for the next available doctor, which could take months.

So think about someone in your family being diagnosed with cancer.  You’d want the most qualified doctor to care for this family member.  You won’t get that choice under government-mandated insurance. It’s “take it or leave it.” And you will end up taking it, because who knows when the next doctor will be available.  This is precisely the reason we see so many patients from Canada (which has socialized healthcare) coming to the U.S. – so they can get the urgent treatment they need, rather than continuing to wait in a back-logged system.

Democrats in Congress who crafted the legislation say we should use a pay-for-performance option for doctors.  Medicare already does that.  And there are already national standards for health care provision put forth by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JACHO), a regulating body for the hospital systems.

To add to the frustrations of patients, the new health care reform does not provide any mandates or incentives for doctors to accept the government-run insurance.  So now you’re waiting in an over-crowded clinic where the insurance is accepted, a burden that’s already being experienced by Medicare and Senior Advantage patients (by now, well accustomed with the federal government’s management of health care).

The next unavoidable step in this health care disaster-in-the-making — an overcrowding of the emergency care system, which is already heavily misused and overwhelmed.

This legislation does not fix the already-broken system but overloads and back-logs it more. If the system is broken now, it will be irrevocably damaged in the years to come.

The part of the bill that aggravates me the most is the taxing in order to pay for the health care itself.  If you are a middle class family making between $80,000 and $120,000 a year, you will have to swallow nearly an 8-percent increase in income taxes.  So a two-income family working hard to pay the bills is paying for the health care of those who take on government-run insurance.

The irony of the situation – this health care legislation was touted as a solution to help low-income and middle class people to obtain insurance.  With an additional tax burden, more middle income Americans will be unable to afford private insurance and forced to take government-offered insurance.  The tax burden increases. And around and around we go.

Low-income Americans already have government-run insurance programs available to them – Medicaid and Medicare in most states (including coverage for children under the age of 18).

So – who, exactly, is ObamaCare helping?

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