Fatal Consequences Of Repealing Obamacare

According to the article “Harvard doctors just revealed how many people will die from repealing Obamacare” by Zach Cartwright, published on U.S.Uncut.com on January 23, 2017, the repealing of the Obamacare is “fatal”. Doctor David Himmelstein and Doctor Steffie Woolhandler, professors of public health at the City University of New York’s Hunter College and lecturers in medicine at Harvard Medical School, agree “that even under the most conservative estimates, getting rid of President Obama’s signature healthcare reform law will result in 43,956 deaths every year.

Both doctors used the findings of the New England Journal of Medicine (NWJM) “that for every 455 people across multiple states who received health insurance through Medicaid expansion, at least one life was saved due to finally being able to see a doctor” in order to reach their number of 43,956 deaths every year. President Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Representative Tom Price have come up with a replacement reform of the Obamacare. Both doctors also argued that the reforms presented to replace the Obamacare “could actually cause even more deaths than they initially predicted”.

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Insurance Companies V. Doctors

According to the article “seguradoras responsabilizan a los médicos de sus pérdidas” by Marga Parés Arroyo, published on the newspaper El Nuevo Día on January 25, 2017, insurance companies allege that doctors are the cause of their losses.

Two insurance companies have emitted guidelines which affect the Medicare Advantage Program. According to the article, Triple-S sent a doctors a letter on December in which they were informed of the amendments in their contracts in order for to make them take responsibility for the mismatch of funds that companies has annually, starting on January 9, 2017. Víctor Ramos, President of the College of Doctors, stated that due to the amendments in the contracts of physicians with Triple-S, they would be paying up to 25% of the deficit that the insurance company incurs due to a mathematical or actual error. The amendments allow Triple-S to billed doctors for any deficit up to 16 months after the end of the year. Ramos, also indicated that the doctors who rejected the amendments, received a second letter from Triple-S where they were requested to reconsider their position, something Ramos has interpreted as the possibility that their contracts with the insurance company be cancelled.

The article also indicates that Triple-S and MCS have decided not to comply with some increases in the Medicare Advantage Program for 2018 according to the Geographic Pricing Cost Index, a calculation through which Medicare and Medicaid repay doctors. According to Ramos, Triple-S and MCS have indicated that they will be amending the list of prices of Medicare to those of 2016 in order to not pay the increase in payment doctors will be receiving for the procedures done in 2018.

Ramos stated that this situation will make the number of doctors fleeing from Puerto Rico to increase. Carlos Mellado, ex Advocate of the Patient, stated that everything that affects the practice of medicine will have an increase in the exodus of doctors from Puerto Rico and that insurance companies need to be regulated.