Friday afternoon, it was reported through the media that Pres. Obama was seen at Walter Reed Hospital health system for sore throat complaint for two weeks. Interestingly enough, despite advocating for, lying about, and forcing Obamacare ACA, so called healthcare reform on our nation, he continues to have private “Cadillac plan” health insurance completely paid for by taxpayers. As per the reports, within a half hour timeframe, he had a consultation and multiple tests. He was said to have an ENT specialist consultation($300), nasolaryngoscopy($300), and a neck CT scan($800). All this resulted in a diagnosis of GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Let’s break this work down as if he had Obamacare ACA compliant, high cost, high deductible insurance. Since he would have Obamacare, chances are he couldn’t keep his regular doctor as they use narrow networks for cost control. After he found another doctor that was in his insurance network and compliant with the plan, he could get an appointment with his family physician or internal medicine physician within a couple of weeks. With Obamacare compliant plans, they act like managed care HMOs and require a primary care visit prior to specialist referrals. Pres. Obama’s direct access to a specialist ENT physician, would have been uncovered and out of the question. Because it was a symptom or disease based complaint visit, it would have been applied to his deductible and he would have had to pay.
Further, he had a nasal laryngoscopy procedure in the office at the same time. With Obamacare compliant plans, it would not have been able to be done the same visit as they require precertification; an insurance mandated procedure where the primary care physician must follow an appeal process to get insurance to consider coverage. A follow-up visit would then be required to do the procedure and billed for another consultation.
Furthermore, the president had a neck CT scan which is an expensive high-tech procedure using radiation to form images and read by a radiologist. This procedure also would not have been immediately covered by Obamacare compliant plans, and would have required precertification and would have been subject to a large deductible.
Last of all, all the care and expensive special studies would have been applied to his deductible. Pres. Obama would have received a bill for as much as $1,400 for the overblown and overpriced work up. Then the phone call complaints to his insurance company, doctors, and Congress people would begin.
All in all, the president’s specialist consult and two expensive high-tech procedures would likely not have been done for paid for if he had Obamacare compliant health insurance. Like the rest of us, he would have likely waited to see his primary care physician till an appointment was available for someone with his Obamacare compliant health insurance. His eight minute exam yielding the same diagnosis of GERD would have resulted in his doctor giving lifestyle advice like quitting his smoking addiction and his use of coffee and other acid provoking habits. Perhaps, he may have also been given a trial of an acid reducing medicine as he likely was after his expensive and Obamacare uncompensated work up.
It is time that the citizens of our country stop allowing the elected and appointed leadership to act like royalty with different laws and benefits applying to them exclusively at the burden of the taxpaying public. Obamacare ACA must be completely repealed in the new year by the new Congress the people elected to do so. Then, and only then, can all parties including physicians and patients this time, come to the table to provide free market competitive healthcare options that patients can freely choose of their own accord, with their own value systems, and directly pay for accordingly.
Best wishes for good health,
Craig M. Wax, DO
Family physician, Editorial Board of Medical Economics
Host of Your Health Matters
Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS FM
Independent Physicians For Patient independence @IP4PI