Amid ongoing calls to repeal ObamaCare, Dr. Glenn Kolansky, a dermatology surgeon identified people with tattoos as at high-risk for undiagnosed melanoma if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is implemented. His disturbing prediction was disclosed in an article by Money Morning, Thursday, August 15, 2013. One out of four Americans have tattoos.
Dr. Kolansky explained,"What worries me most is the quality of care patients will wind up with. People who want to see a specialist will be forced to see a physician extender who is not adequately trained. They will miss things an experienced, highly skilled specialist won't miss. For example, tattoo ink can hide melanoma. Extenders are very likely to miss something like that."
When Dr. Kolansky speaks of "extenders," he is speaking of cost-cutting patient care that will be filtered through surgical assistants, physician assistants and nurses prior to being referred to a surgeon, a dermatologist or a physician.
As more people are introduced into the health care system, as more regulations and less pay threaten to create an even greater shortage of doctors, Kolansky joins other doctors in their fears that patient care will greatly suffer leaving patients at risk. Most agree that those who for financial reasons have to opt for the less expensive plans or Medicaid will be pushed through the "extender" mill.
Others acknowledge that the use of a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or other non-physician professionals will become more common. They feel these "extenders" will lower costs because these screening assistants have less training and are paid a lot less than doctors. Some point out that another advantage of using "extenders" will be their ability to free up doctors to treat even more patients, therefore, balancing the risks. Refer to: "Bad News: Obamacare Is Going to Make the Doctor Shortage Worse"
According to Robert Shmerling, M.D., Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications, tattoos can mask malignant moles and melanomas resulting in undetected cancer. It's a major problem because one of four Americans have a tattoo. Since more than 75,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma, and more than 9,000 die from it every year, it's imperative that this type of skin cancer is identified while it's still curable.
Last month, 36 Democrats joined House Republicans in voting to delay implementation of the individual mandate in ObamaCare for a year. President Obama has ridiculed Republicans for their opposition to the implementation of Obamacare.
Since President Obama publicly shamed opponents of the health care act, others have voiced misgivings, including the American Cancer Society.