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Obama’s 2010 ‘Guarantee’ That Patients Get To Keep Their Doctors Now Downgraded To ‘Maybe’

July 19, 2013 by  

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has added a questions and answers section about the rollout of Obamacare to its new Healthcare.gov website. Intended to serve as a sort of customer service triage to handle common concerns about how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will work, the page functions as a sort of Obamacare FAQ.

Under the section headed by the question “Can I Keep my own doctor?” is this response:

Depending on the plan you choose in the Marketplace, you may be able to keep your current doctor.

Different plans have different networks and providers

Most health insurance plans offered in the Marketplace have networks of hospitals, doctors, specialists, pharmacies, and other health care providers. Networks include health care providers that the plan contracts with to take care of the plan’s members. Depending on the type of policy you buy, care may be covered only when you get it from a network provider.

Pretty straightforward. You need to see an in-network doctor to be covered, and maybe the doctor you already have will be in that network. Maybe he or she won’t.

The key part is the “maybe.”

Back in 2010, President Barack Obama answered early criticisms about how the ACA would adversely affect patient choice by promising – nay, by guaranteeing:

Here is a guarantee that I’ve made. If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance. If you’ve got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor. Nobody is trying to change what works in the system. We are trying to change what doesn’t work in the system.

That promise was further buttressed by the Administration’s online effort to “debunk… the myth” that the ACA would compel patients to switch insurers or doctors in order to be eligible for coverage.

In three years’ time, Obama’s guarantee has wilted into a “maybe.” The President has three more years to deflate his health care promises even further.

H/T Weekly Standard

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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