• Yes, there’s doctor retiring in Kentucky. No, I don’t care.

    Yes, I’ve seen this:


    Where to start? First, it turns out this doctor is retiring because he doesn’t want to get an electronic health record. Fine. That’s his choice. But EHR incentives and/or penalties aren’t part of the ACA. They’re part of the HITECH Act (which was part of ARRA). Those are not the same thing.

    That doesn’t stop the doctor from blaming Obamacare. That doesn’t stop many ACA opponents from tweeting this ad (and it’s an ad, not a story) over and over again. But none of that makes any of this true.

    Moreover, it’s an anecdote. An older doctor doesn’t want to update his practice to join the electronic age. So he’s quitting. So be it; that’s his right. Just don’t expect me to shift the policy of the entire United States because of that.


    • If the ACA were so onerous you’d have reports from all over with stories like this. It is maddening to watch people on any issue take 1 or 2 anecdotes and somehow use it as justification for what they believe.

      Take the most non-controversial issue out there. I don’t know…how about nuns administering to the poor? Or remove “nuns” (to avoid the religiously sensitive) and insert “people.” Someone somewhere is going to decry how awful this is, how it breaks down society…whatever.

      One doctor in a small town closing his practice and blaming it on Obamacare means nothing. I’m sure there’s been a doctor or two that closed their practice for far more ridiculous reasons, because being a doctor doesn’t protect them from being irrational, prejudiced, or nutty.

    • One of my colleagues in private practice is leaving his current job to start up a cash-only, membership fee supported practice. His letter to his current patients reads like American Association of Physicians and Surgeons boilerplate. Obamacare is just more than he can take! He says he refuses to give “your confidential patient information to the Federal Government”. He also then goes on to rail against insurance companies too. This from a physician that has been in practice for nearly 20 years and never had a problem with insurance companies before.

      • Oh yes. I TOTALLY believe he NEVER had ANY problem with ANY insurance companies in the last 20 years until Obamacare came along. That is totally realistic, because insurance companies ALWAYS covered EVERYTHING before Obama became president and the 78% of the people who declared bankruptcy due to medical bills even though they had health insurance (according to the Harvard Study on bankruptcy in the US 2006) were just totally lying about it.

        Obamacare is just SO horrible, which is why Marco Rubio signed up his entire family for it.

        • Was it really due to medical bills or was the definition of ‘bankruptcy caused by medical bills’ created in such a fashion to provide the desired results?

          The author Himmelstein wants single payer and therefore was probably trying to prove all alternatives a failure. What Himmelstein forgot was that Medicare is actually single payer for over 65 and its costs keep skyrocketing even while cutting services. Many seniors on Medicare went “bankrupt” due to ‘medical bills’ according to Himmelstein’s definition.

    • I’m sure the fact that 64 year old Dr. Kiteck is quickly closing in on retirement age had absolutely nothing to do with it either:


    • I got a flat tire this morning…thanks to Obamacare. Also, we haven’t had a snow day for ages, also because of Obamacare. And if it wasn’t for all the complexity introduced by Obamacare people could finally decide: Paleo or Mediterranean diet.

    • I don’t think we can take lightly the idea of older physicians retiring prematurely even if that only pushes retirement up a little. Take a state like Nevada that I believe is low in the number of physicians per capita. 1/4 of Nevada’s physicians are above the age of 55.

      We should also look at physician productivity which seems to peak somewhere around 45 to 59.

    • I will admit that I retired due to Obamacare. Now that the ACA exists, I no longer have to worry about access to health insurance as an unemployed person, so I took the opportunity to retire. It’s nice.