U.S. Senators and doctors Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and John Barrasso, M.D. (R-Wyo.) today released an oversight report, “Bad Medicine: A Check-Up On The New Federal Health Law,” that examines the implementation of the law nearly 100 days after passage. The report is available here.
Coburn and Barrasso write in the report:
“One hundred days after the new federal health care law was passed, Americans remain anxious about how it will impact them and their families. Unfortunately, when measured against the Administration’s own stated goals, the new health law fails to address the top health care concerns of the American people.”
“As supporters of cost-effective, common-sense health reform, but staunch opponents of the legislation that passed Congress earlier this year, this report presents the American people with a check-up about the side effects and the implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as it begins to be implemented.”
“More than a year ago, our country began a national conversation about how to best reform our nation’s health care system. We were both early advocates for real health reform that would lower costs, empower patients, and increase access. We proposed health reform ideas that would ensure all Americans had access to affordable coverage.”
“The passage of the new law is a lost historic opportunity. However, we hope the American people will not give up on their desire for sustainable health reform but will hold their elected leaders accountable to work together to craft common-sense, bipartisan, step-by-step reforms. We believe that real reform begins with replacing the new law with sensible provisions that will lower costs, increase patient control, and put affordable, high quality coverage within the grasp of every American.”
“The intention of this report is to highlight some of problems with the law and its consequences. After 100 days after passage, the report reveals new information and goes through a litany of problems with this flawed legislation.”
Highlighted in the report:
FACT: The new health law increases the cost of health care.
FACT: Sixteen million Americans are forced into Medicaid – a program that denies care, has higher rates of infant mortality, and yields lower health outcomes for patients.
FACT: Citizens will be forced to purchase costlier health insurance or pay a tax, but illegal immigrants will continue to get free care and those costs will be shifted onto citizens.
FACT: The individual mandate will fail with the IRS as the health care enforcer, but uninsured Americans will be considered violators of the law even as costs increase further.
FACT: Millions of Americans will lose their current health plan as employers either drop coverage or purchase more expensive, government-dictated health insurance.
FACT: Patients with pre-existing conditions still face care restrictions, since the new federal risk pool is seriously underfunded and will offer coverage months after required by the new law.
Tulsa Speaking Engagement
“How is this going to affect me?” is one of the big questions on the minds of residents of Inverness Village when U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OKla.) pays a visit to the retirement community on Thursday July 8. During the Senator’s 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. visit, he will discuss the new healthcare reform legislation. Inverness Village is located at 3800 West 71st Street in Tulsa.
“This legislation has been a frequent dinner topic. I’m concerned and my friends are concerned about how this new legislation will impact us,” explains Inverness Village resident Robert White, MD, a retired general practitioner who practiced medicine for 32 years in Salpulpa prior to retiring. “As users of Medicare, we are an unprotected group, as many of us rely on Medicare as our primary health insurance. The idea of care for all is great, but how are they going to pay for it? I don’t think people realized what they were asking for with this new attempt at healthcare.”
Dr. White says he retired because he could see this coming. He believes that medical costs can only be controlled if people are made responsible for a part of the cost. He says that in the case of the new reform, the government says they will decide what care people need and give it to everyone. Dr. White says that in his own practice, there was a time he couldn’t get people to go to the hospital because they didn’t want the payment burden. They needed the money for the nice house they bought. But when insurance rules changed for some and the coverage was provided, those same folks thought a hospital stay was the ticket. “Some of my patients told me it was air conditioned, the food was pretty good, they had visits from family and friends they hadn’t seen in awhile—it was a good deal and they weren’t paying for it.”
Scott Bushong, executive director of Inverness Village, points out that this gathering is a chance for residents to have their uncertainties cleared up and hear a broad summary of what the legislation will mean to them. With the baby boomers starting to reach Medicare age, some see this group as the one most potentially impacted by the reform.
“Sen. Coburn will be holding a Q&A as part of his visit, so he can get a pulse from the residents on hot topics and concerns he can bring back to Washington to share with Congress,” says Mr. Bushong. “As one of the leaders in senior living in this region, Sen. Coburn knew the perspective of this audience at Inverness Village was important. Our programs and approach to wellness continue to make us stand out from others in this industry.”
“Everyone is talking about this event, so I think there will be a big turnout,” says George Joseph, 88, a retired owner of a cast metal shop. “I have a lot of questions for the senator. From what I’ve already read about this reform, it sounds to me like the elderly will be stripped of their care. How else will they pay for this? They have to cut corners somewhere, and I’m afraid that Medicare and our prescription drug coverage is where they will be fishing.”
Inverness Village is a Life Care retirement community located in Tulsa, Okla., that is part of Asbury Communities, Inc., which provides management and support services for a system of continuing care retirement communities for older adults. Asbury Communities is ranked by American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) and Ziegler Capital Markets Group’s AZ 100 as the 14th largest not-for-profit multi-site senior living organization in the country.