by Jayne D. Frank
If there’s anything senior citizens hate, it’s being lied to. After 3-1/2 years of putting up with the Obama Administration’s song and dance about how great our economy is, how selfish America is, or that we must all pay “our fair share,” we should be used to the lies. Everyone recently saw the grandiose commercials on TV for Obamacare’s new free annual physical that seniors will be able to get, but it is an outright lie!
I regularly take good care of myself: I’ve never smoked, I exercise and I keep my weight down. But for many decades now, I have had an annual physical by my doctor. I request this so that I can have my blood checked for any signs of trouble. I actually have my physician do breast exams and have him look at any questionable spots on my skin for early signs of skin cancer. Also, during this physical, we discuss any new potential issue I may have encountered such as joint or muscle pain and he takes the time to thoroughly go over my medicines and to discuss any other questions I may have. This is MY hour, MY exam, and MY health, so leaving his office, I normally feel great about the state of my health and having received answers to the medical questions I may have.
Obamacare is the END of our annual physical as we may have known it. To state otherwise is a blatant lie to seniors and those family members that may eventually have to care for them. In the mail today from my doctor was a description of what my new physical (wellness exam) will look like. I will have my clothes on the entire time. He will measure my weight, blood pressure and my waist circumference (as if I don’t have a tape measure and scale at home). He will discuss my risk for falling. Really? I am too busy enjoying living and finally enjoying retirement that falling is the last thing I am thinking about and am perfectly capable of taking care of my own risk assessments around my house. I will not be able to get my yearly blood work done or breast exam under this new “wellness” exam unless I pay for them separately at a different appointment. Most assuredly, I will not be able to get my bone density tests (even though my mother had osteoporosis) nor will I be able to get medication to prevent the same from happening to me. There will be no way without taking your clothes off that a doctor can detect a mole that is precancerous, or notice your legs are swollen or changes to your normal skin tone. These all are indicators of a more serious problem that might be going on. But you DO get a screening for depression, and God knows by now, you will be depressed when you start to get medical bills to pay which Medicare or your Medigap Insurance won’t pay because you have “opted” for your regular yearly physical instead of the Government’s “wellness exam.”
The most obnoxious of these “Medicare”-sponsored commercials shows a grandfather telling the world that thanks to his annual physical under Obamacare, the doctor detected a serious life-threatening condition that otherwise could have prevented him from seeing his grandchildren grow up. Obviously, under Medicare’s new rules, he would have had to have been on death’s doorstep in order to have been diagnosed using the prescribed annual exam under Obamacare which precludes doctors from using the latest diagnostic tools during your annual physical.
The Government now expects doctors who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and years as interns for their education and who put up with years of grueling medical training, to now waste their valuable time and “sit” with fully clothed Medicare patients for 45 minutes once a year and talk about the time of day, and for a discounted payment at that. Don’t forget that included in Obamacare is the requirement that older people be made aware of their “options” should they not like the care the doctor is able to provide. What ever happened to “if you like your Doctor and insurance plan you can keep them”; but at what additional cost?
I for one, am furious at this lie by the Obama administration. I have already seen our insurance Part B and Medigap insurance payments go up by about 30% because of Obamacare, and for what? So I can ignore my body and my health and keep myself well by having the kind of physical that I want and need. Every senior and the children of seniors should be infuriated at what is coming if Obamacare is not stopped and repealed. If you want to see what this looks like in the future, rent the movie Soylent Green and see how Government treats seniors who are no longer considered “relevent or productive” - it’s awfully close to sitting for 45 minutes with your clothes on talking with your doctor about nonsense.
UPDATE: So, opting for a complete physical instead of the Obama Wellness Exam, I had my appointment yesterday. Out of an hour set aside for my physical, I can honestly report that I had all of TEN MINUTES of my physician’s undivided time for the exam and to answer my specific questions about my health. The other 50 minutes was spent by my doctor and his nurse on the computer, filling out MANDATED questions by the Government’s HHS Department. As a result, I did not have eye contact, or even felt the presence of my doctor, during all of those questions. Be VERY AFRAID of the kind of questions they ask, because ultimately they will result in another mandate from HHS based on your answers. For instance, you might expect one question of whether you have experienced any depression since the date of your last physical. But if you do answer you were depressed about an incident (in my case a personal family matter), you get many followup questions that are written for the physician about the number of times you are depressed every day and whether you ever feel like killing yourself (I think they worded it more tactfully). In the future, perhaps President Obama’s words will come true – that “sometimes it is better to take a pill…(for grandma).”
Because I have had very controlled asthma for years (thanks to the preventative inhaler that I use), there was now a separate asthma section that took several minutes. Those questions mainly focused on whether you felt your asthma was out of control or fully controlled. What’s going to happen when they get 3 years of “fully controlled” from seniors – will they insist upon your expensive inhaler being dropped?
Then came the written question about my sex life and if I had one.
Were there any questions in HHS’s mandated questionnaire about what my nutrition or healthy living plans were? No, because that is not their goal. The questions they ask are frankly none of the Government’s business and because they are now a public matter are more egregious to ask a patient. The doctor and nurse apologized for having to ask these questions and the doctor specifically said that he was frustrated that “he couldn’t get back to what he was educated to do – be a doctor and had to spend time answering computer questions which he hated.”
Since so much time was spent wasting an hour of the doctor’s time on the HHS’s mandated questions, it ended up that ordering my annual prescriptions was screwed up because they were trying to get done for the next patient.
Kathleen Sibelius has stated that this information is confidential and cannot be viewed by the Government. If true, then why have they mandated this information be disclosed in order for Medicare to cover the annual physical cost? For my own personal view, I was infuriated because this is MY private time with my doctor for which I am required to pay to secure relevant information about my current state of health such as blood tests. My monthly Medicare and separate insurance payments which I pay are not intended to support the Government’s agenda but are for my own health.
*Make sure to read my Update: What You Need to Know About your Medicare Annual….” just published August, 2013