While the Obama administration is patting itself on the back over the expansion of health insurance coverage owing to ObamaCare, journalism is making clear that "health insurance coverage" is not the same thing as "access to health care."
The New York Times has an article pointing out that many of those who got coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are, after paying premiums, "still on the hook for deductibles that can top $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for families." As a result, some of them are choosing not to go get medical care that they may really need. Some conservatives may like this because it will help to control overall health care costs, but for those with the $10,000 in medical bills after paying $20,000 or so in insurance premiums, it may not exactly feel like the "affordable" care promised by the president.
The Boston Globe, meanwhile, reports on a study in which "researchers called 360 psychiatrists offices in Boston, Chicago, and Houston, who were listed in the Blue Cross Blue Shield online database and posed as insured patients or patients willing to pay out of pocket and attempted to get an appointment." The result?:
The researchers were unable to obtain an appointment 75 percent of the time. An estimated 15 percent of the clinics were not accepting new patients; psychiatrists' offices did not return phone calls 23 percent of the time; and 16 percent of phone numbers listed in the database were wrong.
As the abstract of the study concludes: "Results suggest that expanding insurance coverage alone may do little to improve access to psychiatrists—or worse, expansion might further overwhelm the capacity of available services."