Hoover Institution's Atlas: Obamacare Creates 'Two-Tiered' Healthcare System

Friday, 02 May 2014 10:57 AM

By Dan Weil

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While the Affordable Care Act was passed in the name of ending inequality, it will do anything but, says Scott Atlas, a physician and senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

"The greatest irony of Obamacare is what will undoubtedly follow as a long-term, unintended consequence of the law: a decidedly unequal, two-tiered health system," he writes in The Wall Street Journal.

"One will be for the poor and middle class, and a separate system will be for those with the money or power to circumvent Obamacare."

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The government is vastly enlarging the Medicaid population, and the Medicare population is expanding through an aging population, Atlas says.

Then there's the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a group of political appointees who will work to cut payments to physicians and hospitals under Obamacare, he notes.

Atlas quotes Howard Dean, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, who said, "The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body."

The result?

"The hidden truth is just around the corner," Atlas writes. "Those more dependent on public insurance, mostly the poor and middle class, will have limited access to medical care."

Meanwhile, a report from the Republican-led House Energy and Commerce Committee shows that 33 percent of enrollees in the federal-government Obamacare exchanges hadn't paid their first-month premiums as of April 15.

Some people who have failed to pay may actually want to, but don't have any easy way to get their money to an insurance company, CBS News reports.

"A high proportion of the people that are low-income and uninsured don't have checking accounts, don't have credit cards," Tim Jost, a professor of health law at Washington and Lee University, tells CBS.

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