Three years ago our IBD/TIPP Poll found that nearly half of doctors said they would consider quitting their practices if the Democrats' health care overhaul became law. So how do they like it now? Not much.
President Obama himself swore that once Americans saw what was in the Affordable Care Act they would like it — a broken promise much like his bogus assurance that "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan." Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein, at one time ObamaCare's chief apologist, made a similar statement in early 2010 when he wrote that "if you actually tell people what's in the health-care reform bill, then it becomes quite popular."
Those grand pronouncements are cousins to then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's bizarre 2010 claim that "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it," the implication being that the public would like what it sees.
Early on, Obama and Klein were right. The public did warm up to the Democrats' overhaul. In that same blog, Klein cited a Newsweek poll that found "the majority of Americans are opposed to President Obama's health-care reform plan — until they learn the details."
But that was almost four years ago. In late 2013, doctors are finding out what is in ObamaCare and they don't like what they see. Poll results released earlier this month by Jackson & Corker found that 61% of physicians said their opinion of the ACA "has changed for the worse." Only 31% said it had not.
The survey, which polled more than 3,000 doctors, also found that 80% of physicians say Americans currently insured will have to pay more under ObamaCare — remember the Obama promise of bending the cost curve downward? — while 76% see overall health care costs rising due to the ACA.
And what will America get in exchange for increasing costs? Quite likely, substandard results. Six in 10 doctors, the poll found, believe the quality of patient care will be hurt by ObamaCare, while 57% say the law will have negative impacts on treatment decisions.
Other highlights from the poll:
• More than seven in 10 doctors (73%) say patients will have less choice.
• Not quite half (44%) say they will not participate in the ObamaCare exchanges.
• More than half (56%) want the Affordable Care Act to either be repealed or defunded.
• Nearly two-thirds (66%) anticipate spending more time on administrative burdens.
While readers digest these numbers, they should also consider yet another now-they-tell-us story from the media that actively campaigned for passage of ObamaCare.
On the day the nation celebrated Thanksgiving, the New York Times — our alleged "newspaper of record" — revealed that Medicaid growth under ObamaCare "could aggravate" the doctor shortage that already plagues that program.
As many as 9 million new Americans will be eligible for Medicaid under ObamaCare, says the Congressional Budget Office, which is going to overwhelm Medicaid doctors who often are already flooded with patients. Many physicians will simply say they cannot take new Medicaid patients.
Almost three years have passed since the ObamaCare legislation was signed into law, and all we've seen so far is failure. So we think it's legitimate to ask: Is there any evidence that the Democrats' health care overhaul actually has produced any benefits at all?
None that we can see. It's been as disastrous as we expected and its woes will only multiply. Any attempt by Washington to ensure and provide health care for 315 million Americans is not only doomed to failure but is guaranteed to make things worse.
How could it not? Central planning has never delivered on its promises and there's no reason to think it ever will. America's doctors recognize this. If only the country's lawmakers were as sharp as doctors.