It’s insurance companies, not ObamaCare, that’s making healthcare sick
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I am so tired of the blame game.

The constant rhetoric of “ObamaCare is broken.” That it is a failing system.

No it is not.

What is broken is the greed of insurance companies, their executives and shareholders as well as pharmaceutical companies and other large entities seeking to make money in medicine.

Stop blaming physicians — we account for 10 percent of spending in healthcare.

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Stop squeezing us. Stop giving us unfunded mandates. Stop driving us out of the profession by making us miserable.

 

Stop doubting our training.

I lived in two states that expanded Medicaid and created their own market exchanges.

In both those states I had affordable insurance for my family with reasonable cost sharing. I saw this replicated in my patient population. Scores of patients would come in who previously had no access to care — productive members of society — artists, craftsmen, service industry members.

As a small employer I had always offered healthcare insurance to my employees. I look at it as a social contract — do the right thing. To me, when we started the debates over the Affordable Care Act, we were basically legislating that.

Too many employers cried about the cost of adding healthcare — people like Papa Johns — who famously said it would cost $0.10 extra per pizza to which everyone responded — bring it.

I seriously doubt his bottom line has suffered for taking care of his employees.

The other issue the ACA addressed was the sale of junk insurance — policies that did nothing — they were just the appearance of having coverage. The whole point of essential health benefits was a meaningful discussion with stakeholders of what coverage should be.

Now the GOP-controlled Congress wants to rip that away because the states, like my current home state which did not expand Medicaid and did not create their own exchanges, have horrible choices. This is not the fault of ObamaCare.

My $900/month policy with $6,200 per person deductible is the fault of Maine Gov. Paul LePage. He refused to expand Medicaid. He refusal to set up a state exchange is why Maine has a broken market. This was repeated around the country.

The ACA was designed to work with expansion everywhere – not piecemeal. Of course greed took over.

The solution is to fix this.

Stop the cost shifting.

Stop the mistake of for-profit health insurance Nixon created.

When I spend more of my day dealing with prior authorizations for generic medications than direct patient care, yes, the system is broken. A medication I can supply for $5 a month is not the problem. My decision making is not the problem.

It is beyond offensive that the Senate continues to have a secret subcommittee trying to design a bill that affects everyone without one stakeholder at the table.

When they stop their tantrum perhaps we can work together to fix this.

Dr. Cathleen London is a physician based in Maine who developed a cost-effective alternative to the standard EpiPen in response to skyrocketing prices. London has been an on-air contributor on Fox News and local television stations around the nation. Follow her on Twitter @DrChaya


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.