Flawed ACA physicians' lists are no surprise, Ohio congressman says
"It’s sadly no surprise that the doctors’ lists were flawed as well," Rep. James "Jim" Jordan (R-OH) said during a Patient Daily email interview. "Health care will be better and more affordable when Obamacare is gone.”
Jordan's comments were in response to a Patient Daily story last week about Toledo-based photographer Penny Gentieu and how her attempts to find a physician accepting new patients lead to the controversy of Ohio's ACA physicians lists being wildly inaccurate. Gentieu contacted 308 physicians on six insurance plans who -- according to the physicians' list -- were accepting new patients.
Gentieu found that about 80 percent of physicians in the Toledo area were not accepting new patients, despite the Ohio ACA physicians list saying otherwise. A spokesman for the Ohio Insurance Department was quoted in a New York Times article saying that correcting errors on the list is "consumer-driven," meaning wrong information isn't fixed until someone complains.
Gentieu has since posted the results of her experience on the website Ohio Citizen Rate Review. She also has urged Congress to eliminate provider networks, make prices transparent and break control that health insurance and pharmaceutical company lobbyists have over health care legislation.
It isn't clear if lawmakers in Washington will take those recommendations to heart or if things will get better, worse or remain the same under a new administration and a GOP-controlled Congress, with Donald Trump's inauguration planned for Jan. 20. Vice President-elect Mike Pence said last week that repealing and replacing the ACA will begin the first day Trump is in office.
Repealing the ACA will not be painless, according to a report issued Jan. 6 by the private health care foundation Common Fund. A Congressional repeal of certain key provisions of the ACA could cost up to 3 million people their jobs in health care and other related industries, according to the report.
"Recent analyses show canceling the ACA’s tax credits and Medicaid expansion would double the number of uninsured Americans," the report said. "As millions lose their insurance, hospitals and other providers would see their uncompensated medical care costs soar by $1.1 trillion from 2019 to 2028, and they would experience major revenue losses as well."
Enacted in 2010, the ACA is comprehensive health insurance reform that was designed to improve access, affordability and quality in health care for U.S. citizens, especially those who had trouble finding health care and health insurance coverage. President Barack Obama made certain promises about the ACA, including patients being allowed to keep their choice of physician and insurance coverage they already have. About 20 million uninsured people now have health insurance coverage under the ACA, including more than 6 million uninsured young adults covered since 2010. However, the ACA has soured for many, with many promises broken, premiums skyrocketing and insurers pulling out of some markets.
"From the beginning, everything we were told about Obamacare turned out to be false," Jordan said in his more recent email Patient Daily interview. "We were told if we liked our health care and our doctor we could keep them. We were told that premiums would go down. We were told that the Obamacare website would work and would be secure. We were told emergency room visits would decline as well."
Other promises were made as well, Jordan said. "But none of these things have happened," he said.