Friday, July 19, 2013

Local impacts from Obamacare piling up

People seem to be getting wise to the fact that you actually may not be able to keep your doctor under Obamacare. That's particularly true in Redding, where about half the general practitioners have closed their practices, I'm told. A big reason is the requirement to move to automated health records, which can cost an office more than $300,000. Some smaller offices simply can't afford it.

Also, one of Redding's largest doctor's offices stopped accepting Medi-Cal about a week ago because it only gets about a third of the reimbursement given to walk-in clinics for the same treatment. Bear in mind that programs such as Medi-Cal are seen as a key to making Obamacare work, but good luck trying to find a doctor that will still accept it. They seem to be dwindling at a rapid rate.

The health care law is impacting the local education sector, too, as full-time teaching jobs with the Shasta County Office of Education are quickly becoming a thing of the past. As full-day programs are being replaced by half-day, some classroom employees have had their hours cut to 20 a week in anticipation of Obamacare, an insider told me recently. This is a government agency that once offered one of the best and most comprehensive health plans in the city.

I can well remember the hue and cry that emanated from some corners of this community when the county shut its mental hospital. Now that we have upheaval on a much larger scale that's impacting the community in real and tangible ways, what emanates from those corners is the sound of crickets.

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