Bracing for the impact of Obamacare

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As of Tuesday, Oct. 1, all Americans are going to be subjected to the terms of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”

How could this affect you? It’s hard to say, given that the public has gotten almost no information on exactly what this is and how it will change our lives.

As an individual who owns a small private practice, I buy my own insurance. However, I returned from a short vacation to see that my plan will no longer be in effect or renewed as of Jan. 1, 2014.

So the first thing I heard about Obamacare, that I will be able to keep mu current plan if I’m happy with it, is not true.

Now I’m forced to go to a health insurance exchange and pick something that could potentially be more costly and substandard. It also opens me to government plans, which I do not desire.

If I don’t buy insurance, then I will be taxed and penalized.

A great post titled, “50 Dangers from Obamacare,” on, lists exact pages, sections, and lines of information in the plan that affect Americans, including those who own businesses, those of us in the medical field regarding health care rationing, costs of the plans, its violations of individual rights, and much more.

For example, the plan will dictate doctors’ payment and income, reducing what doctors earn and ultimately leading to a shortage of doctors and the rationing of care. Also, all doctors will receive the same pay, regardless of specialty, which will hugely reduce the number of specialists that will be available.

A section also allows the government to set the value of a doctor’s time and professional judgment.

If a client or patient is re-admitted to the hospital, doctors could be subject to federal penalties. Treatment choices will be limited based on the patient’s health and condition, resulting in the oldest, weakest and sickest patients being denied treatment because the statistics for success in their demographic is poor.

This type of health care rationing will save money, at the expense of our seniors, to help pay for insurance for the uninsured. Doctors’ offices will be required to provide translators at the expense of the taxpayer. Cancer hospitals will have guidelines for rationing the care of their patients.

Also, eliminating HMO plans like mine will force people no longer in those plans into a government-run health plan.

The above-referenced article explains that the federal government will have access to all personal financial records and accounts, in order to impose a tax or penalty on those without insurance. The government will also have all of your health care records and history, including finances. And, if you choose not to buy coverage, the government could grant itself direct access to your bank accounts to obtain payment for premium costs.

I know the therapy clients I see from the FAA Tech Center, Coast Guard, police departments as well as from state and county government will not want their records exposed to their government employers.

I am affected individually and as a therapist in a small private practice. I want to protect my client’s records, and not be forced to take less income for seeing more people.

As of Sept. 28, not one of my insurance companies had contacted me with new rates or how to handle new procedures. If many of my clients lose their current coverage as I have, this will become a billing and charting nightmare, as it will for any doctor’s office and almost impossible for smaller, private offices.

What is a practitioner to do?

Many doctors are in the process of retiring, not wanting to deal with this massive reform. Some have already become a totally self-pay center, and I will be doing primarily life and relationship coaching, which eliminates insurance issues altogether.

We have little choice. The health care companies are pushing Obamacare to pay their doctors less, and charge people more by eliminating current plans.

Watching CNN to figure out what will be my fate is nerve wracking to say the least – but seeing our elected officials vie for attention with their talking points such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz reading “Green Eggs and Ham” during his Obamacare filibuster, makes a mockery out of the American people who feel we have no voice.

Get informed, call your government representatives and say “no” to Obamacare.

Riana Milne is a marriage and family therapist, a certified relationship coach, author, and motivational speaker at Therapy by the Sea LLC in Egg Harbor Township. Her column, My Relationship Coach, appears in The Current Newspapers. See or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .




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