Covered California rolled out its health insurance exchange, a website that works better than its federal cousin. But the problems with it run deeper than a website that doesn’t work. Dirty little secrets lurk in California's version of Obamacare.
More than a million Californians had their healthcare plans cancelled, including the seriously sick like Edie Sundby. The 30,000 who signed on at Covered California were not the healthy young folks who would support the sick who signed on. This produces the problem of more money flowing out for claims than money flowing in from premiums.
Seven of every ten California doctors are choosing not to participate, according to Washington Examiner. Of California’s 104,000 physicians, 70% are boycotting the exchange.
Why the low participation rate? Because California’s doctors don’t want to go broke serving their patients with state reimbursement payments being 30% lower than federal Medicare payments.
For example, Medicare pays doctors $76 for the same office visits that California pays a mere $24. California doctors get $160 for the same tonsillectomy that doctors in other states get $500 to $700. What do you think this does to the doctoring business in California?
Physicians are leaving. They’re retiring from practice in California, having had enough of the state-run pillaging. They’re refusing to work at a loss because physicians are in business and not in the business of charity. A severe physician shortage in California is expected soon, if not underway already.
Adding to an already egregious system, Covered California website lists participating doctors who actually are not participating. Doctors are named on the list without their consent. The list is a lie, but folks signing on don’t know it.
California Covered alleges that 85% of the state’s doctors are participating but show no numbers, thus perpetuating the lie of medical care and coverage for all with a dysfunctional design and doctors departing.
Despicable describes Covered California, as the wobbly website operates within a larger dysfunctional system. By now, Californians know to expect nothing better.