My parents are elderly, mid-80's. Retired, live down in the Republican bastion of Marco Island, Florida. Life-long Republicans who watch Fox News.
Today my father called me to say he was having a hip replacement in February. He's had a lot of back and hip trouble. I mentioned that 's a big deal for someone his age.
His answer: "Well, my doctor said I should probably go ahead and do the hip replacement now, before Obamacare cuts it off from the old folks".
"Obamacare is cutting all that stuff out for old folks. I won't be able to get it done if I don't do it now"
"Dad, your DOCTOR told you that? That Obamacare was going to cut off services from old folks? Your DOCTOR told you that to get you to have a hip replacement in February or Obamacare would prevent you from having one?"
"Yes. All the doctors down here say that, and use it to justify everything they do now".
"Dad, that's not true. That's a lie. There is no restricted access or 'death panels' in Obamacare. Not true. Besides, you are on Medicare, and that's not changing. You have free preventive visits now, in fact".
"Humph. Well, don't believe everything you hear. My doctor says it's true".
"Dad, it's not true - it's a lie".
Of course he does not believe me.
I'm furious at this orthopaedic surgeon. Just. Furious. Frankly, I'm also writing HHS and demanding an answer I can show my father.
12:47 PM PT: 3:45pm I called HHS, Medicare Fraud Division. Talked to an operator that assured me, no, Obamacare wasn't removing any such thing from Medicare care for elderly. Recommended I telephone the State Medical Board and file a complaint, gave me the telephone number for Florida.
Called my father back, and told him I just spoke to the Medicare Fraud Division, and what his doctor told him was not true, and they verify it. He still doesn't really believe me.
I need to get the name of that doctor. This just infuriates me, what these doctors do to patients.
2:16 PM PT: 5:16pm Thanks for all the recs and great suggestions and comments, guys. We have to keep fighting the lies, one person at a time.
11:08 PM PT: 2:04am (after the 121212 concert) Disturbing to see how many others have related various "ObamaCare is taking my elderly healthcare away" and death panel memes from their elderly relatives or conservative doctors. Seems being an uninformed wingnut isn't IQ associated.
Good info too, the comments on how our medical system may change under ObamaCare.
And thanks for all the well-wishes and concerns about my Dad. Thank you.
Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 4:41 PM PT: 7:39pm - Glad to see discussion still ongoing. I wrote a letter to AARP today, hopefully they will continue aggressive retiree education about Medicare changes under ACA - including specifically addressing misinformation campaigns by physicians (whether purposeful or from ignorance).