Doctors ought to be made to treat Medicare patients and even work at public clinics as a condition of their licenses…

How’s that health care reform working for you?

So far all that I am hearing is that health insurance companies are rushing to raise their rates before all the new requirements kick in. But somehow, eventually the new rules are supposed to save everyone money.

And while I understand this next thing has nothing to do with the new health care law, I just read a story that new cuts are set to be made in Medicare and that doctors are threatening to refuse service to Medicare patients and maybe even go out of business.

The Medicare cut thing has to do with some cost control measures put into effect years ago and inaction by congress, as I understand it.

Certainly government payments to doctors ought to have some appearance of reasonability — something close to the going rate. But at the same time it would seem to me medical ethics would dictate against refusing to treat patients.

Maybe the government could pull the licenses of doctors who refuse to treat patients.

Yes, I know, medicine is a business.

Nonetheless, the law requires one to have a medical license to practice medicine. That gives a lot of power to the government over doctors.

Here’s an idea: Maybe as a condition of maintaining a current medical license doctors ought to be required to treat Medicare patients and even do a certain amount of free public service at public clinics.

While I would be generally in favor of some form of national health care, failing that I think the government could take simple steps such as making doctors more accountable to the needs of the public through conditions on their licensing.

P.s.

Don’t know if this has anything to do with the new health care law but at the private cancer center I have been going to the oncologist I have been seeing is leaving town to be with his doctor wife who practices elsewhere. I was told that on my next appointment I would not be seeing a doctor, but a physician’s assistant. I told them sorry, I don’t do PAs. They told me sorry, but that is the way they do it. I already had the experience of being in the hospital and being charged (may insurance being charged) for seeing a doctor when I actually was seen by a PA.

(I know, the use of paraprofessionals is supposed to be a cost efficiency measure. But when I want to see a doctor, I don’t want to see a doctor’s helper anymore than when I call a plumber I want to be given a plumber’s helper — pun, such as it is, intended.)

P.s. P.s.

And one more thing. New health care law or no, I am 61 and would just as soon not work so hard or go to some other type work (I’m an over-the-road driver), but I need my employer’s group insurance.

Yeah, how’s that new health care law working?

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