Doctor Requests Congress to Repeal Obamacare 100%
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As a physician radiologist and small business owner, I am delighted to know that we have lawmakers who are in favor of 100% repeal of Obamacare and not willing to agree to signing a bill which continues to have remnants of this terrible healthcare law we currently have in place.
Insurance premiums have skyrocketed since the launch of Obamacare and it has been a disaster for small business owners who need to purchase their own plans. From premiums in range of $400-500 for a family of 4, they have gone to a ridiculous $1200 for essentially the same level of coverage. This has been a nightmare for middle-class families who are paying $12000 or even more annually simply for health insurance. That being said, the deductibles are not any better either. So the combination of high deductibles and high insurance premiums, Obamacare has been the worst piece of legislation passed by the previous administration for hard working middle-class Americans and small business owners.
The core issue here is the rising healthcare costs due to manipulative billing by for-profit hospital systems. It is still baffling to me how 1 pill of acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol) can cost $20 for in-patient care while the "true" cost of that pill ought to be less than a few cents! This ridiculous pricing structure should be made illegal and banned. Why is it that an MRI of a spine costs over $2400 in a hospital premises building while the same MRI costs $600 at an out-patient MRI center. Hospitals are buying out-patient imaging centers and steering patients to get their imaging studies done on hospital premises, just so they can benefit from these huge technical fees upcharge!
Malpractice premiums are outrageous for physicians and it is solely due to lack of cap on lawsuit amounts against doctors. With the exception of states like Texas where there is a limit on malpractice lawsuit amounts against doctors, thus enabling lower malpractice premiums, the kind of premiums we as physicians have to pay here in Virginia and elsewhere are just sheer profit for the lawyers and insurance companies.
We need to have a nationwide limit on lawsuit amounts against doctors with the goal to decrease Malpractice premiums. We doctors hold the highest standard of ethics when it comes to professionalism and patient care. Yet we are humans and to err is human. Enabling lawyers to slap on multi-million dollar lawsuits against doctors is just not right. The fear of getting sued has lead to "Cover Your A**" or "CYA" medicine practice by physicians which leads to millions of unnecessary diagnostics and therapeutics annually. As a Radiologist, an incredible amount of CTs and MRIs I read for emergency rooms are normal and negative. If we look at evidenced based medicine, there is tremendous literature to support no need to order diagnostic tests when the index of suspicion for a positive diagnosis is low. Yet, clinicians keep ordering studies on patients "just to be sure". Just to be sure of WHAT? No answer...or often..."Rule out disease" (if that makes any sense!) Of course, bonuses get added on by hospitals for physicians who order a ton of studies! So this is a vicious feedback look which is unfortunately being trickled down to medical schools and residences so newly trained physicians are doing the same practice when they get out of training. Do no harm. That's the first Hippocratic oath we take in medical school as we put on our white coats. Ionizing radiation exposure to patients for medically unwarranted reasons is nothing more than radiation-induced damage to normal healthy tissues. This is a whole topic in itself but wanted to mention it in context to this issue of over-ordering of diagnostic tests.
We need to have hospitals and private physician groups stop manipulative coding and billing, stop them from incentivizing physicians to order more and more diagnostic studies for greater profits. It is so bad to the extent that I have personally been told by a CEO of a private physician group that he gives annual cash bonuses to physicians of his group who order the most amount of studies!
For patients concerned about losing insurance for pre-existing conditions, I believe if the right steps are taken in the proper practice of medicine by lowering unnecessary tests, eliminating "CYA" practice of medicine, eliminating manipulative billing and coding, fining practice groups and hospitals who engage in such acts which ultimately raise the overall burden of cost, there should be no reason why insurance companies would need to deny insurance based on pre-existing conditions - because they will have now have savings from all the reduced healthcare costs! They (including private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid) will have enough money to cover the necessary costs to get you treated and cured.
For low-income families concerned about losing health insurance if Obamacare is repealed, I have the same thing to say. With proper, planned handling of issues mentioned above, there will enough savings to create avenues for low premium insurance plans with low deductibles which you will be able to afford with or without assistance from Medicare/Medicaid.
We have a long and treacherous road to fix the rising healthcare costs, decrease insurance premiums and provide better, safer and cheaper healthcare to our patients.
I believe with support from readers like you who will sign this petition, we can achieve this goal by reaching out to conscientious lawmakers who truly want to pass laws for the benefit of the American people!
And it all starts with this petition to request Congress to completely repeal Obamacare!
Dr. Dishant Shah, MD
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