Obamacare Architect: 'You Don't Need a Doctor for Every Part of Your Health Care'

Susan Jones | March 5, 2014 | 6:54am EST
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A medical assistant takes a patient's blood pressure as her husband and baby look on at the Country Doctor Community Clinic in Seattle. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Under the Affordable Care Act, the Health and Human Services Department is spending billions of dollars to expand community health clinics, which are mainly staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

"It's going to be one part of a complex part of the health care system," Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the architects of Obamacare, told Fox News's Bill O'Reilly Tuesday night. "So if your kid has a sore throat and you want to find out if it's strep throat, or your kid has what appears to be an ear infection and you want to find out if it's otitis media -- you really don't need to go to the pediatrician. You can go to these clinics."

"But there aren't any doctors," O'Reilly said.

"Well, you don't need a doctor for every part of your health care," Emanuel responded.

"You don't need a doctor," O'Reilly echoed. "If I want a strep throat diagnosis, I don't want Lenny who just came out of the community college..."

"Excuse me, but those are nurse practitioners -- it's not Lenny out of a community college," Emanuel said. "And it is just putting a swab back there and getting a strep throat assessment."

Emanuel said electronic health records make it possible for the clinic to send the diagnosis to a patient's primary physician.

"Are you worried?" O'Reilly asked. "Say you had VD, STD -- I'm sure you don't."

"Please, don't insult me," Emanuel replied.

O'Reilly said he's worried about the privacy of electronic medical records.

"We have laws to protect the privacy," Emanuel said. Several times, he accused O'Reilly of "sowing fear with no grounds."

"You know me, I'm afraid of everything," O'Reilly said. "Say TMZ offers somebody like $5,000 to get a famous person's medical records. Is that unheard of? Is that unheard of? Come on, is that unheard of? You know it goes on all the time."

"They will not, they have high security and everyone is well aware of this, and they are taking it seriously. And if they -- if they didn't, they would have already offered that for electronic health records and we would have seen the breach."

Emanuel said 80 percent of doctors now use electronic health records -- "and there has not been that kind of breach... And there is not a single case, Mr. O'Reilly, of those medical records being breached for things like STDs or a very famous Hollywood star's medical records."

The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

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