“If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Keep Your Doctor” – Actually, Wait, No You Can’t

Hot Air
January 22, 2014

Last year, Politifact called “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” the Lie of the Year for 2013, after having defended Barack Obama’s promise for two years. Perhaps in 2014, they might consider the second part of Obama’s promise a candidate in 2014. The second part, where Obama promised that “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” is proving just as false:

“Beth Kramer says she’s running out of options. And out of time,” says the local reporter.

“The disabled mother of two says she’s out of medication for an autoimmune disease, she’s run out of antibiotics for a painful internal infection, and the health plan she’s paid for through the Affordable Care Act keeps sending her to doctors who say they can’t treat her because they won’t take her insurance.”

“I’m out of medication,” says Kramer. “I’m sitting here with an infection and I’m out of antibiotics and the symptoms are coming back. And I have no idea when I can go to a doctor or where.”

Says the reporter, “Kramer signed up for health care under the Affordable Care Act through Covered California, the agency that is coordinating health care coverage between consumers and health insurance companies in California.”

Oddly, KCBS doesn’t have a story available on its website to highlight Beth Kramer’s woes, so Daniel Halper’s catch at the Weekly Standard is most useful. They do have one that reports on the demographics of Covered California sign-ups, which look pretty worrisome.  Officials claim to be optimistic, but perhaps California insurers won’t share that outlook:

Officials with California’s health insurance exchange Tuesday said about 625,000 people have signed up for an individual or family policy under the federal health care reforms, but enrollments for Latinos and younger people continue to lag expectations.

Younger people are crucial for the private insurance market. Insurers need them to balance out the number of older customers, who are more likely to use health services.

About 25 percent of those choosing an insurance plan are in the 18- to 34-year-old group, below the roughly 36 percent that Covered California, as the exchange is called, eventually wants to see.

Unfortunately, Beth Kramer is not alone. WKBN in Ohio reports that hundreds of patients in Ohio have discovered that Medicare Advantage cuts pushed providers out of their networks, and now have to change doctors too:

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