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Earlier today, I was appalled by a comment I read on Facebook:

The penalty in Mass is higher than that proposed by Obama, but that misses the point. There are now 5 million more people added to health care roles. There arent enough doctors and nurses to provide care hence care will be rationed. Those over 60 such as myself will now have the govt tell us when and if we are able to get care.
First of all, this all started on the wall of a young friend (about 21 years old) where my friend had posted a question:
I have a question for all of my republican friends who oppose obamacare (which I am against myself) exactly how is Romneycare any different?
First somebody said:
Easy. Healthcare is a state issue. if MA wants healthcare MA can have it. I have zero issues with that. Romney understood his state's rights. The people in his state wanted it and they are willing to pay more taxes for it. All of that is well within the rights of a state. It is NOT a federal issue, which is what Obama made it. My issue is not with healthcare, it is with FEDERAL healthcare.
To which I replied:
Re: State Issue --- "Unfortunately for that line of argument, the tax penalty levied under RomneyCare on those who refuse to buy health insurance differs from that under ObamaCare only by degree, and not in a way friendly to Romney. You see, the maximum tax penalty in RomneyCare, at $1,212, is considerably higher than the maximum of $695 under ObamaCare."

Supreme Court strips Romney of favorite argument

So then comes a long the guy who says that there aren't enough doctors so it is bad to add more people to the health care system by providing them coverage because now he won't be able to get good care. In trying to craft my response, I searched the Internet, where I found this blog post:
Megyn Kelly hosted a panel of doctors to discuss the Affordable Care Act (aka Obama Care) yesterday – and I’m sure you’ll be shocked to know that all three of them opposed it. But what really was shocking was their reasoning that it would create too many patients which would negatively impact those who already have coverage. Rather than consider ways to increase health care providers, they all seemed to think the solution was to make sure there weren’t too many health care consumers. In other words, people should go without treatment so that those who already have coverage are not inconvenienced. Even worse, the doctors complained that too many people would “overuse” medical services.

The doctors complained that there’s already an “excess of patients,” that our system is “unsustainable as it is. We have emergency rooms are teeming as it is.”

But my personal favorite was that Obama Care makes medical care “too easy to overuse. They’re making insurance which should be for a rainy day too easy to overuse. You can use it even if you’re not sick.”

That’s right, this is a doctor complaining that people might seek medical attention too often if it’s too available and affordable.

Fox News Obama Care Class Warfare: There’s Not Enough Doctors For Everyone To Have Health Insurance

I realize this guy probably suffers from Fox Geezer Syndrome, but I would like to help stop him from passing it on to my friend and others. I've included my response to the post on my friend's wall below the orange squiggle. However, I would appreciate any suggestions, correction, or ideas on how I might have crafted a better response.

You said you're over 60. Are you over 65 yet and on medicare? Medicare is a government program that runs efficiently at a 3% profit as opposed to a private insurance company that makes a huge profit. Some of those companies pay the CEOs millions a year in salary. Of course, now the Affordable Care Act limits that profit to 20% because if they don't spend at least 80% of premiums on actual health care they have to send out rebates for the difference (Over $1.1 Billion in rebates going out this August).

Personally, I am 55 and I have no insurance right now. I have pre-existing conditions and can't afford the $1,200/month in premiums to get private health insurance. Now that Affordable Care Act has been found constitutional, I am going to be able to get private insurance at an affordable rate. Since I will be buying health insurance now, I won't have to pay that penalty because it only applies to people who refuse to get coverage. And that higher price in Massachusetts? 98% of people there have health care coverage, so not a whole lot of them are paying it ether. Oh, and in Massachusetts, their health care costs have gone down and their premiums have gone down because almost everybody is covered.

Do you think it would be better that people without insurance continue to go uninsured and continue to get a free ride, and just show up at emergency rooms where they don't have to pay? Guess who ends up paying their bill? You. Because the hospital has to get the money somewhere, so they increase the charges to people who can pay, and then the insurance companies raise premiums. If everybody has coverage, then the insurance premiums go down for everybody because there are no more free riders. The proof is what has happened in Massachusetts.

So thanks for letting me know that you don't want me to get insurance and would rather that I and others like me stay away from the doctor because there are not enough care givers to go around, and you for some reason deserve to get care while other people in this country shouldn't get care at all. If I get sick, what do you suggest I do? Die fast? You claim that Obamacare sets up Death Panels, and yet you prefer the Death Panels of the Private Insurance Industry that set life-time limits on the amount of care people could get, and refused to give coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and often decide which treatments and procedures they will not cover.

Also, just so you know, despite what you learned watching Fox News, there was going to be a Physician Shortage in this country before the Affordable Care Act was passed. However, people will be able to get preventative care and stay healthier thanks to ACA.

Your health care is covered, but who's going to treat you?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    For me, Mitt reminds me of Jeff Bridges in Starman. He's like an alien that hasn't read the entire manual. You know, he's going, "Nice to be in a place where the trees are the right size." -- Robin Williams on Letterman 26 Apr 2012

    by hungrycoyote on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 02:58:38 PM PDT

  •  This has been their argument from the beginning (5+ / 0-)

    rationing care based on how much money you have or if you're older and on Medicare=good rationing

    rationing care based on urgent need=bad rationing...

  •  Yes I've been hearing this meme from conservative (14+ / 0-)

    I ask them the following question: "Doesn't more demand from patients mean that in a free market that the demand will have to be met, so more doctors and nurses will be hired. This should be good for today's high unemployment right?"

    They usually get mad and start screaming how it's not a free market but socialism etc....

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:11:18 PM PDT

  •  Gee, who limits the # of med schools and students? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, jayden, TEMkitty, fly

    DOCTORS through the AMA.

    Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

    by Clem Yeobright on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:12:32 PM PDT

    •  Actually, according to the article I read (4+ / 0-)

      part of the problem is a lack of residency spots:

      On top of that, there is a lack of residency spots available for students graduating from medical school. In 2011, more than 7,000 were left with degrees that said "M.D." but no place to continue their education, according to the National Residency Matching Program.

      Many residency spots are funded by Medicare, and there's a cap on the number a hospital can claim each year. That number, about 100,000, has remained steady since 1997. While the Affordable Care Act will redistribute some unused residency slots and increase funding for the National Health Service Corps, more needs to be done, advocates say.

      Your health care is covered, but who's going to treat you?

      I read in another article which I can't find right now that there is legislation in Congress to increase the number of residency slots. I guess that's something the Republicans probably want to block in the house. I'm not sure. Will have to research it more.

      For me, Mitt reminds me of Jeff Bridges in Starman. He's like an alien that hasn't read the entire manual. You know, he's going, "Nice to be in a place where the trees are the right size." -- Robin Williams on Letterman 26 Apr 2012

      by hungrycoyote on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:18:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's just plain wrong... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hungrycoyote, jayden

        ...really. Go ahead, google the subject past that one reference.

        Try searching on "unfilled medical residencies".

        What I'm seeing is that every year, US medical school graduates match for their residencies and leave at least a couple thousand residencies unfilled in the US.

        Those unfilled residencies are then filled by IMGs - international medical graduates.

        Go figure.

        Cheers.

  •  hungryc - related to Obamacare its nonsense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, G2geek

    However, we clearly have an acute shortage of primary care physicians, physician's assistants (PAs), and nurse practitioners as well as gerontologists and the numbers going forward just get worse. It is difficult, and very expensive, to ramp up the training of primary care clinicians, but this needs to be an important public policy goal.  

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:15:40 PM PDT

    •  Yes, of course, I know. I just want the facts so (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      that I have a rebuttal when I hear it. When that man posted that comment this afternoon, it just hit me the wrong way. I was so relieved yesterday when the ruling came down because I'm finally going to be able to get coverage ... after 12 years of paying as I go (and fortunately nothing major has happened).

      But, I am getting older and thrilled I'm going to be able to afford coverage. That this man had the audacity to imply I shouldn't get it so he can get better care just made me see red. Of course, I posted my response over an hour ago and so far no response to what I said.

      For me, Mitt reminds me of Jeff Bridges in Starman. He's like an alien that hasn't read the entire manual. You know, he's going, "Nice to be in a place where the trees are the right size." -- Robin Williams on Letterman 26 Apr 2012

      by hungrycoyote on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:24:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obamacare has provisions for loan forgiveness (4+ / 0-)

    in order to adreess the shortage of GP's, nurses and dentists (I think) who accept Medicaid.

  •  Not Enough Astronauts (5+ / 0-)

    Not enough doctors? I heard this argument from Tea Party demonstrators at Health Care Town Halls. I would be there in my nurses's uniform with a pro-healthcare sign and tried to engage them. Advance practice and nurse specialists are part of the answer, as well as scholarships for primary care doctors.

    But I want to ask, when John F. Kennedy said he'd put a man on the moon, did we have enough astronauts? Getting people to go into healthcare when there are good paying jobs is a cinch compared.

  •  Emergency rooms are teeming (6+ / 0-)

    NOT because of a shortage of doctors (there's that, too, but mostly in rural areas, where the problems are slightly different.)  Emergency rooms are teeming because there is a shortage of health care coverage and affordable health care and Emergency rooms are required by law to treat people regardless of their ability to pay.

    If we make the entire system more accessible to people who need ALL types of care from specialized, to urgent, to emergent, to long term, to preventive, and make it possible for all of them to access some form of coverage that will distribute the care delivery across the health care landscape rather than piling up in ERs, then they won't be "teeming".

    And yes, our system does need more primary care providers, but there are some mechanisms in the ACA to address that problem, too.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:45:24 PM PDT

  •  Yea... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, Calamity Jean

    because encouraging and then training more doctors is so hard...
    leave it to the anti-intellectuals to dream that up...

    If you think it's a good idea for you to not to be forced to call your insurance company immediately after being pulled from a flaming wreck to be certain that the emergency room visit is covered...you might be FOR the PPACA!

    by workingclasszero on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:58:01 PM PDT

  •  Damn this shit gets old. (7+ / 0-)

    All these namby-pamby fuckwads ever do is bitch, moan, and complain constantly while pissing in their pants over fear of some unknown. They refuse to address our problems or come up with workable solutions and then when somebody finally does they simply cannot deal with it and act like selfish children throwing hissy fits.

    It's just a constant chorus of "MeMeMe" with them and fuck everyone else. Instead of saying "Hey, let's train and hire more doctors and nurses" they immediately go to a negative place and worry about rationing care. Because that's exactly what will happen if we leave the decision-making up to these dumbass nitwits and they know it. They are constantly projecting their loathsome qualities onto the rest of us in useless attempts to hide their lack of compassion, morality, or basic common decency. It has become blatantly and painfully obvious that their biggest fear is that someone will do to them what they would gleefully and willingly do to someone else without hesitation or shame. With a pathetically craven worldview like that, no wonder they're running scared.


    Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

    by jayden on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 04:01:42 PM PDT

    •  It's Not the JOB Of Government to Address Problems (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hungrycoyote, jayden, Calamity Jean

      That's their core view of society.

      "There is no such thing as society." --Margaret Thatcher.

      Well, those of them who believe society even exists.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 04:07:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This Will Get People OUT of Emergency Rooms (4+ / 0-)

    because millions more will be getting treatment before their condition becomes an emergency.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 04:06:49 PM PDT

  •  The argument I (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, TEMkitty, splashy

    generally use is to ask what they would think of being in close quarters with someone who is walking around with a contagious condition - perhaps unknowingly - not being treated due to lack of health insurance.

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. - 9th Amendment

    by TracieLynn on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 04:11:19 PM PDT

  •  yes emergency rooms are teeming now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, luckydog

    because all those people w/o health insurance don't see medical professionals until it is an emergency, then they go to ERs where they legally are not supposed to be turned away even if they can't pay, and the rest of us who have real emergency room needs pay higher fees to cover them.

    So if we give more people access to non-emergency care, including preventive care, we might see a lessening of use of emergency rooms.

    And oh by the way, we could do much of the additional coverage with Nurse Practitioners and Physicians' Assistants, at a far lesser cost than ful MDs.

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 04:21:37 PM PDT

  •  DOD budget (4+ / 0-)

    I guess we don't need to ever increase the defense budget again, because there are only so many soldiers and aerospace factory workers - we wouldn't want to give them an order for too many missiles or aircraft to build.

    ... wait, more defense spending increases hiring and jobs... but more health spending is chasing a forever-fixed pool of providers?

    I must be confused.

  •  We do need more docs and nurses (4+ / 0-)

    but it's not going to be the 'geezers' who wait for treatment, unless they come in for something minor.

    ER triage is based pretty much solely on how dangerous your condition is or is likely to quickly become.  It's not based on 'how old you are', except in the sense that the very old and the very young destabilize more quickly than those of us in the middle years, and so are generally at a higher acuity, not a lower one.

  •  Doctor shortage - no problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckydog, hungrycoyote

    Ease the restrictions on foreign doctors practicing in the U.S.

    The AMA will scream like hell but there will be plenty of fine doctors available.

  •  State/Federal Argument No Basis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote

    I keep hearing this excuse that the reason we can't have a health care system like in Massachusetts because that's a state and not federal - on just what bases does that mean? States' rights?

    Just how is it different and why won't it work on a federal level?

    What Republicans and conservatives should be working on, if they really cared about health care for the nation, is how they can change it to work better, not repeal it.

    I think our universities should offer more scholarships to promising young people to become doctors. We should have moved on this long ago; encouraging degrees in medical science so that we would be prepared for the future.

    I would assume that the system will deal with the influx of new patients with some difficulties but like so many of the changes to our lives, we'll grow into it and adapt

    Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

    by fidlerten on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 08:07:55 PM PDT

    •  I think that was a creation of Mitt Romney's (0+ / 0-)

      when the Republicans started railing against Obamacare, which was drafted by the same guy who drafted Romneycare. Since Romneyis running as a Republican, he has to appear against universal healthcare on the federal level, so he came up with each state should be able to decide what they wanted.

      If you look at old videos of him when he was running for President in 2007/2008, you'll see him bragging about the accomplishment and saying he could do it on a national scale. He also said (there was a clip of it on Bill Mahr last night) that if individuals didn't get health care, they would hold back their tax refunds, and charge them a penalty. It's all political theater and nothing else.

      He's so boxed in because in order to keep the right-wing base happy, he has to say that he wants to repeal Obamacare, which is a contributing factor as to why he comes off as being so insincere. He has to know that he will never get a repeal through the Senate. It was his signature accomplishment as governor of Massachusetts, and he can't even use it to campaign for the presidency.

      For me, Mitt reminds me of Jeff Bridges in Starman. He's like an alien that hasn't read the entire manual. You know, he's going, "Nice to be in a place where the trees are the right size." -- Robin Williams on Letterman 26 Apr 2012

      by hungrycoyote on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:37:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  funny how (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote

    the side that always screams about letting the "free market" solve everything are just TERRIFIED that there might be a bunch of new customers.  (gasp!) how WILL the market respond??

    When life gives you lemons, don't elect them to Congress.

    by papa monzano on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:22:46 PM PDT

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