As people learn more about the health care bill, there is a surge of people who wish to repeal the bill.
The number of Americans who want Congress to repeal President Obama’s 10-year, $938 billion health care law is on the rise, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released today.
According to the poll, 58% of Americans support repealing the law. That’s up 4 percentage points from last week.
But here is an interesting twist, it’s not just the everyday people who are confused about what is in the health care bill, it’s the very people that SIGNED it into law! Congress itself may have voted itself out of the very precious health care they already have, and have to join the one they are forcing on us! Well, they really aren’t sure what they did.
Three weeks after President Obama signed his landmark health care overhaul into law, Americans are still seeking answers about how the reforms will impact them — and it turns out members of Congress are as well.
A new report from the Congressional Research Service concludes the new laws may inadvertently kick members of Congress and some staffers out of their current health care plans, the New York Times reports.
Currently, congressmen and congressional staffers participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (F.E.H.B.P.). However, lawmakers added a provision into the legislation dictating that they would be required to buy health care coverage through the state-based exchanges the new laws establish. The intent of the provision was to make good on the promise that all Americans would receive the same coverage as members of Congress. The problem is, those exchanges will not be in place until 2014, and Congress may technically be forced out of the F.E.H.B.P. before then.
“It is unclear whether members of Congress and Congressional staff who are currently participating in F.E.H.B.P. may be able to retain this coverage,” the CRS wrote in a 8,100-word memorandum, the Times reports.
In some disturbing health care news, The Nation Faces Shortage of 150,000 Doctors in 15 Years.
The new federal health-care law has raised the stakes for hospitals and schools already scrambling to train more doctors.
Experts warn there won’t be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
That shortfall is predicted despite a push by teaching hospitals and medical schools to boost the number of U.S. doctors, which now totals about 954,000.
The greatest demand will be for primary-care physicians. These general practitioners, internists, family physicians and pediatricians will have a larger role under the new law, coordinating care for each patient.
The U.S. has 352,908 primary-care doctors now, and the college association estimates that 45,000 more will be needed by 2020. But the number of medical-school students entering family medicine fell more than a quarter between 2002 and 2007.
If that isn’t enough of a worry, how about fewer hospitals?
The new health care overhaul law, which promised increased access and efficiency in health care, will prevent doctor-owned hospitals from adding more rooms and more beds, says a group that advocates physician involvement in every aspect of health care delivery.
Physician-owned hospitals are advertised as less bureaucratic and more focused on doctor-patient decision making. However, larger corporate hospitals say doctor-owned facilities discriminate in favor of high-income patients and refer business to themselves.
The new health care rules single out such hospitals, making new physician-owned projects ineligible to receive payments for Medicare and Medicaid patients.
Existing doctor-owned hospitals will be grandfathered in to get government funds for patients but must seek permission from the Department of Health and Human Services to expand.
To get the department’s permission, a doctor-owned hospital must be in a county where population growth is 150 percent of the population growth of the state in the last five years; inpatient admissions must be equal to all hospitals located in the county; the bed-occupancy rate must not be greater than the state average, and the hospital must be located in a state where hospital bed capacity is less than the national average.
The rules fall under Title VI, Section 6001 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The provision is titled “Physician Ownership and Other Transparency – Limitations on Medicare Exceptions to the Prohibition on Certain Physician Referral for Hospitals.”
More than 60 doctor-owned hospitals across the country that were in the development stage will be canceled, said Molly Sandvig, executive director of Physician Hospitals of America (PHA).
“That’s a lot of access to communities that will be denied,” Sandvig told CNSNews.com. “The existing hospitals are greatly affected. They can’t grow. They can’t add beds. They can’t add rooms. Basically, it stifles their ability to change and meet market needs. This is really an unfortunate thing as well, because we are talking about some of the best hospitals in the country.”
The organization says physician-owned hospitals have higher patient satisfaction, greater control over medical decisions for patients and doctor, better quality care and lower costs. Further, physician-owned hospitals have an average 4-1 patient-to-nurse ratio, compared to the national average of 8-1 for general hospitals.