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Blame DC, not doctors, for rising health care costs

 

Blame DC, not doctors, for rising health care costs

Writing in USA Today, Arkansas Neurologist Kathryn Chenault explains how the federal regulations increase the cost of health care and make it impossible for her to provide the best possible care to her patients. Dr. Chenault makes a point that Campaign for Liberty Chairman Dr. Ron Paul has often made: that while Obamacare “worsened the bureaucratic burden like nothing I’ve ever seen,” government distortions of the health care market did not start with Obamacare.

Thus, while it is important to repeal Obamacare, Congress must not stop there. Instead all federal programs that raise the price and reduce the quality of health care must be repealed so that a true free market in health care is restored.

You can read Dr. Chenault’s article here, with excerpts below:

 Every year, lawmakers wrap health care providers like me in ever-tighter reams of red tape. Their ceaseless pen-pushing raises prices, limits availability and reduces face-to-face time between doctors and patients.

This problem preceded the Affordable Care Act by decades. Whether it’s Medicare, Medicaid or something else, every federal health care reforms only empower bureaucracies to write the tune to which health care providers must dance.

Yet Obamacare worsened the bureaucratic burden like nothing I’ve ever seen. By October, the law had already created 11,000 pages of regulation. It has added thousands more since.

Doctors, hospitals and insurers must hire armies of lawyers and administrators to make sense of this system. This leads to mountains of paperwork. I’ve had to hire extra staff to fill out forms, file them and fax them. Even for a private practice doctor like me, this dramatically increases costs while worsening the patient’s experience. This also explains why doctors rarely spend enough time with patients. Wen order to comply with Obamacare’s price and coverage mandates, insurers must make severe trade-offs and sacrifice many medications and procedures. They do this in order to keep premiums down. If they didn’t, health care would be even more expensive.Such is the awkward position forced on us by Washington. No doctor wants less time with her patients. We value the doctor-patient relationship above all else. But now our hands are tied by Washington’s never-ending need to regulate our every move’re forced to do paperwork, too….

In order to comply with Obamacare’s price and coverage mandates, insurers must make severe trade-offs and sacrifice many medications and procedures. They do this in order to keep premiums down. If they didn’t, health care would be even more expensive.

Such is the awkward position forced on us by Washington. No doctor wants less time with her patients. We value the doctor-patient relationship above all else. But now our hands are tied by Washington’s never-ending need to regulate our every move.


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