Since before Obamacare was signed in 2010, conservatives have warned the law would turn doctors' offices into DMV style clinics with physicians rapidly rushing through patients in order to survive under the legislation. Further, grave warnings were given about doctors retiring early due to Obamacare making the industry too expensive to practice in. Four years later, 6 out of 10 doctors say they'll be retiring early and now, patients are being rushed through appointments, including at the offices of specialists.
Joan Eisenstodt didn't have a stopwatch when she went to see an ear, nose and throat specialist recently, but she is certain the physician was not in the exam room with her for more than three or four minutes.
"He looked up my nose, said it was inflamed, told me to see the nurse for a prescription and was gone," said the 66-year-old Washington, D.C., consultant, who was suffering from an acute sinus infection.
When she started protesting the doctor's choice of medication, "He just cut me off totally," she said. "I've never been in and out from a visit faster."
These days, stories like Eisenstodt's are increasingly common. Patients — and physicians — say they feel the time crunch as never before as doctors rush through appointments as if on roller skates to see more patients and perform more procedures to make up for flat or declining reimbursements.
It's not unusual for primary care doctors' appointments to be scheduled at 15-minute intervals. Some physicians who work for hospitals say they've been asked to see patients every 11 minutes.
And the problem may worsen as millions of consumers who gained health coverage through the Affordable Care Act begin to seek care — some of whom may have seen doctors rarely, if at all, and have a slew of untreated problems.
Because liberals don't seem to understand the concept of supply vs. demand, they failed to recognize early on that an influx of new patients without new doctors would cause a shortage and lessen the quality of care. Well, here we are.
Obamacare was sold on the idea that the government shouldn't come between a patient and their doctor. Further, people were told the law would get them more treatment and expanded care, not less. Primary care and specialty care offices are already seeing the devastating effects of government meddling in the healthcare system. We're seeing exactly the opposite of what was promised on every single level.