Facts: Most Medicare patients do not have trouble finding doctors who will see them, but there is growing concern about access to primary care physicians.
This issue is monitored closely by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent Congressional agency charged with advising Congress on Medicare. The agency’s most recent annual survey of Medicare patients found that just 2 percent of beneficiaries had problems of any kind finding a new primary care doctor willing to accept Medicare – the same percentage of patients aged 50-64 with private insurance who report problems.
Likewise, just 2.1 percent report trouble of any kind finding specialists willing to accept Medicare, compared with 2.3 percent for patients with private insurance.
I recently got into a discussion with one of my frequent visitors to this blog about doctors not accepting Medicare patients so I did a little research on the topic. As seen above the difference between doctors accepting Medicare patients vs. private insurance patients is basically the same. The statistics show that it is actually slightly easier for a Medicare patient to see a specialist than it is for someone on private insurance! How is that for knocking that myth!
We constantly hear about how government-funded healthcare will produce inferior care and denied patients but as usual these types of things are usually just fear tactics put out by political partisans. Given that the Internet is so prevalent in most of our homes (although not so much in rural areas) it is relatively easy to get information on just about anything you care to research. It took me about five minutes to find the facts above. Granted I had to sift through dozens of political articles about death panels and such but that is the price we pay for making information so easy. Learning the trick about googling helps too.
One of my personal favorite posts on this blog is about Lazy Minds (click here to see it). It is just too easy for people to believe and then pass one the rhetoric from someone with a very biased agenda gives them on about something instead of taking a little time to research it on their own. Lazy minds are the primary cause for so much that haunts our world today.
So the next time someone give you a political line about Obamacare or any other topic take the time to research it on your own. The real answers are out there if you care to wade through all the garbage to know the facts. But then again finding the facts can also get you in trouble with some groups, particularly those pertaining to religion. But that is another story…