The doctor won’t see you? Analysts warn ObamaCare plans could resemble Medicaid
BBC Fans Say Goodbye To The Time Lord [VIDEO] By Carly Shields December 28, 2013 11:12 AM EST Doctor Who has said goodbye to the 11th doctor and now officially awaits the new season with its new doctor. (Photo: Doctor Who) Doctor Whofans officially said goodbye to the 11thDoctor on the famous BBC TV series on Christmas Day. Marking Matt Smith’s last time as the Time Lord, the much-loved show was filled with comedic lines, traumatic climaxes, life-and-death situations and lots of Daleks, the show’s famous robots. Follow Us As always, the ” Time of the Doctor “aired on Christmas. The British show that has been on TV for 50 years was the most watched show on television on Christmas day, with 10.2 million people tuning in. RELATED: Watch ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas Special 2013 Live Online So why did the producers choose this new doctor? Well, it happened so fast that it left some viewers confused as to what actually happened to the old doctor. Peter Capaldi is a Scottish actor and will now be playing Doctor 12 in season 8. (Photo: Reuters) Smith spent the holiday special trying to protect the town of Christmas on the planet of Trenzalore.He aged so fast that one moment he was hunched over the Tardis console and the next Peter Capaldi was standing just where Smith was before. There was no dramatic, drawn-out scene of Smith’s death, but simply a clean and painless five minutes. Capaldi, a Scottish actor, is now the 12th doctor on the British TV show. And a fun fact for all the Doctor Who lovers, Capaldi appeared in an earlier episode when the 10th doctor, David Tennant, was trying to save the world. But when Capaldi appeared on earth he could not adjust right away and instead was flapping and flailing due to his clumsiness, just like Smith, his predecessor. The new Time Lord didn’t even know how to fly the Tardis when he appeared on screen. Instead he turned to the bemused Jenna Coleman asking her: “Do you happen to know how to fly this thing?”
1, analysts are warning that the plans are likely to give them access to fewer doctors and hospitals. So much so, they warn, that the system could begin to resemble Medicaid, the health care program for low-income Americans. “Indeed, I think this will eventually be like Medicaid,” said Merrill Matthews, director of the Council for Affordable Health Insurance. Matthews said the only way many insurers are going to be able to control costs is by “simply clamping down on the amount they are willing to pay.” Just as with Medicaid, analysts warn that if payments get too low, many doctors might start refusing to see patients. That will leave more and more patients jockeying to see fewer and fewer doctors. They emphasize, then, that having health insurance won’t necessarily translate into access to health care. “About half of the physicians in many communities refuse to take Medicaid patients because the payment system is just too low,” said James Capretta, of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Doug Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, suggested some of the plans on the exchanges are going in the same direction. “If you look at something where you get a dollar by treating a private payer, you get about 70 cents out of Medicare for that same treatment, you get about 55 cents out of Medicaid for that,” he said. He added: “You know, ObamCare started to look like Medicaid of the future, and in the Medicaid in the present, you can have the insurance but a doctor won’t see you.” By the end of March, the Obama administration hopes to increase the number of people on Medicaid by 9 million, and the number in private plans by 7 million. New Medicaid enrollments so far have far outpaced enrollments in private plans on the exchanges. But since Medicaid patients already have access to relatively few doctors, expanding that population while opening the door to lower payments for private insurance raises the prospect of rationing, as too many people chase too few doctors. “These networks are going to be jammed with people,” Robert Laszewski, president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, said. “Far more than they’re treating now, and I don’t doubt that we’re going to have problems with access to these doctors. There just aren’t going to be enough of them.” For now, the Obama administration is trying to move past a year of some ups and many downs for its health care law, and encourage people to sign up during the final three months of open enrollment. President Obama said in his year-end press conference that enrollment has picked up considerably as problems with the federal exchange website have been addressed. “The law is working: More than half a million Americans have enrolled through HealthCare.gov in the first three weeks of December alone — and 800,000 more are on track to get Medicaid through their states,” he said in an email message on Sunday. Obama continued to stress that the law is providing health insurance to those previously unable to get it. “Now, thousands of Americans are signing up for coverage every day. That matters. It means financial security for families all across the country. It means freedom from the fear that one illness or accident might cost you everything you’ve worked so hard to build.” Fox News’ Jim Angle contributed to this report.