- - Monday, December 2, 2013

Obamacare is failing because the basic premise of an ideological, politically driven health care system without physician input can never succeed. The multitude of problems with broken promises, lies, higher costs, fees and taxes, limited patient access and services, and restrictions on physicians and hospital facilities are real and significant. But my bigger concern is what Obamacare is doing to the practicing physicians, who have taken on years of education and have accrued a large debt to provide care for their patients.

First, the Independent Payment Advisory Board will determine where, when and how physicians will practice — and it will continue to reduce doctor reimbursement. Second, insurance companies responding to the Obamacare cost-cutting on providers includes a new physician value-based payment modifier that erroneously rewards physicians for lower costs. Unfortunately, some physicians have supported these concepts. As a former practicing physician, I strongly disagree and hope all practicing physicians and their state, national and specialty societies, as well as patients, stand together to ensure that patients and physicians are the ones making medical decisions.

More taxpayer dollars for government employees to administer the program and less funds for providers are wrong. Patients may have a similar diagnosis, but for a variety of reasons some may not be able to tolerate or benefit from the guideline-recommended treatments. Everyone — Democrat, Republican and independent — will require medical care at some time, and they should stand with physicians to demand that Congress and state legislatures reverse these perverse policies. We need enough qualified physicians to provide quality care for patients.

MARVIN L. HOOVIS
Centerville, Mass.