In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, a physician laments the direction his profession has taken:
For me and many of my colleagues, the real practice of medicine is supposed to involve an intimate encounter with each patient and a diagnosis of illness leading to a potential cure. In the future, however, a diagnosis of Lyme disease or the severity of a patient’s depression may be missed because showing the photo or taking an extensive mental-health history doesn’t fit squarely into the 10-minute visit authorized by insurance, along with mandatory computer documentation, insurance verifications and appointment scheduling.
The PPACA didn’t cause that. Sadly, it doesn’t remedy it, either, but rather pushes the practice of medicine even farther into the wrong direction. He continues:
Unfortunately, the kind of insurance that is growing under ObamaCare’s fertilizer is the exact kind that was jeopardizing the quality of health care in the first place: the kind that pays for seeing a doctor when you are well, but where guidelines and regulations predominate and choice is restricted when you are seriously ill.
What we’ve got is an unholy alliance between Big Business and Big Government, a development none of us should relish.
Someday, perhaps, we can start thinking about the kind of practice of medicine we’d like to see. I think it’s one in which physicians don’t worry about starving but don’t live like Renaissance princes, either, and, more importantly, don’t expect to. Patients can receive the care they need but maybe not as much care as they want and that decision is made by professionals rather than by administrative guideline. Something that more closely approximates the “old country doctor”, a physician who maintains a longitudinal relationship with his patients rather than a medical retailer. What we’re getting is the worst of all worlds: standardized care at high prices.