American Medical Association: ObamaCare Poses "Risk" for Doctors

By:  Raven Clabough
03/20/2014
       
American Medical Association: ObamaCare Poses "Risk" for Doctors

The American Medical Association (AMA), a key supporter of ObamaCare, is now realizing that a rule found in the healthcare law could hurt doctors.

The rule ultimately leaves doctors with the costs for services they administer to their patients if the patients do not pay their premiums.

Fox News reports, “At issue is a 90-day ‘grace period’ which lets patients who are not paying their premiums keep coverage for 90 days before it can be canceled. Under the rule, insurers are responsible for paying any claims during the first month of that period — but not necessarily for any claims during the final 60 days.”

On Wednesday, the AMA warned that the rule could pose a “significant financial risk” for doctors and hospitals.

“Managing risk is typically a role for insurers, but the grace period rule transfers two-thirds of that risk from the insurers to physicians and health care providers,” said AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven.

Ironically, a few years ago, the American Medical Association had endorsed the new healthcare law, a fact that was touted by ObamaCare advocates at every opportunity. The Obama administration continually attempted to give the appearance that the medical community was in full support of ObamaCare, with President Obama even surrounding himself with doctors during a ceremony in the Rose Garden when he was campaigning for public support for his Affordable Care Act.

But despite those efforts to give the impression that the healthcare law was widely embraced by the medical community, approximately 70 percent of doctors disagreed with the AMA’s position on health reform, according to a 2011 survey, with just 13 percent supporting it. In fact, half of those doctors cited the AMA’s position in favor of ObamaCare as the factor that caused them to drop their AMA membership.

More recent studies reveal that there has been little change. In February 2012, 60 percent of 5,000 doctors surveyed stated that the healthcare law would negatively impact patient care, with only 22 percent stating it would have a positive impact.

In an October 2012 survey that asked, “Which of the following best describes your feelings about the ACA?,” 55 percent of the 3,000 doctors questioned chose “repeal and replace.” Another 40 percent responded “implement and improve” it.

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