Does Insurance Translate to Health Care?

By Howard Danzig

While the media and the politicians are focusing everyone’s attention on access to “Health Insurance” connected to “ObamaCare,” nobody seems to be noticing that our medical system is deteriorating. It’s doing so in more ways than one, but what everyone should be especially concerned about is the growing shortage of quality properly trained primary care doctors and specialists.

Recently at a meeting for ECCHIC in Central Illinois, I was with a staff of Urgent Care doctors and nurses assistants serving that area.  When they told me of their circumstances, I was alarmed, and I bet you will be too. Here are just six of the things they told me:

  1. A local hospital is having to staff their emergency room with a psychiatrist in place of someone trained to read and interpret tests like EKG’s, X-RAY’s, CAT-Scans, etc.
  2. Office visits are being replaced by telephone calls with prescriptions being prescribed based on symptoms described by phone.
  3. Nurse’s Assistants and Physicians Assistants are being fast tracked into live work quicker than ever before, bypassing historical residency training, just to get more manpower.
  4. More hospitals are taking over private practices, and medical protocols are being dictated by administrators and managers rather than doctors.
  5. Hospitals are being provided financial rewards and incentives for limiting cost and treatment by government programs.
  6. More and more insurance companies are making their network narrower while diminishing out of network provider benefits.

And it goes on and on!

As I always say: Insurance policies don’t provide medical care – properly trained doctors do!  Let’s be careful about what we wish for – case in point, this universal health insurance does not mean universal access to healthcare. In fact, it means not only less access, but less access to quality healthcare. This is a trend, too. I see it becoming increasingly a problem. I hope we all wake up and fix it before we reach the point of no return.

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