Morning Bell: Why This Doctor Fears Obamacare
by Kelsey Harris, Heritage Foundation, September 12, 2013
Dr. Tim Shepherd talks about his patients like they’re his own family.
He gets emotional when he thinks about a patient he’s been treating for 20 years, and talks about a new patient who’s making progress like it’s his first grandchild.
He says his favorite part about being a doctor isn’t having specialized knowledge or the power to “save lives.” It’s the opportunity to take care of people.
“It makes it difficult to take care of the whole person if you don’t have the environment where you are free to do that,” Shepherd told Heritage.
Unfortunately, everything Dr. Shepherd loves about his job is now at risk because of Obamacare.
The father of 11 children, including Heritage marketing associate Josh Shepherd, has run a family practice in Lewisville, Texas, for 35 years. He’s concerned about the impact of the law on the care he is able to offer his patients.
“There’s a lot of administrative work already, which is taking away from patient care,” he said. Of the practice’s 15 employees, five do only paperwork, and they are constantly fighting with insurance companies and Medicare.
So it’s no wonder Dr. Shepherd is dreading the layers of bureaucracy Obamacare creates—layers he’ll have to fight through to treat his patients. His practice will be faced with more government regulation and will be increasingly dependent on unreliable government reimbursement for medical services.
Shepherd said many family doctors just like him are either retiring or leaving their practices to join large medical corporations. He said doctors are being told their individual practices can’t survive the pressure of Obamacare’s administrative costs.
But Shepherd doesn’t want to give up or change his practice because of Obamacare.
“People having choice is a very important part of medical care,” Shepherd emphasized. People have a personal connection with their family doctors, but Obamacare will take away that freedom of choice.
While Shepherd is determined to look for innovative ways to keep his family practice independent, he knows the hazards of Obamacare are real. He doesn’t want doctors to be forced to give up on their patients, and that’s why he’s advocating for a full defunding of Obamacare.
“I am a believer in defunding Obamacare because I think it’s going to be a disaster for our country,” he said.
General support for Obamacare has dropped to less than 40 percent, according to a poll released yesterday. The American people are not in favor of this threat to their health care and their relationships with their doctors. All the more reason Congress should listen and defund it now.
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