Friday, September 15, 2006

Your Massachusetts Future

This is the future of healthcare under Obama’s plan. We’re told that this plan will “reduce the costs of healthcare”. What is the truth? Healthcare costs will “explode”. We’re told that we will retain our freedom to choose our healthcare providers. What is the truth? In order to control expenses, we’ll be required to give up our freedom to choose our providers – and our choices will eventually be severely limited. We’re told that Doctors and hospitals will not be forced to join large networks and remain free to choose their networks. What is the truth? They will be forced to do exactly that – forced to join large networks and be paid per patient.

As I’ve said before – government has no business in the healthcare industry. If this healthcare plan passes – our healthcare industry will rapidly become a wasteful, bloated, incompetent nightmare (see Medicare). This is the eventual result anytime government is involved in private industry.

jg – October 14, 2009
OCTOBER 14, 2009

Your Massachusetts Future
The Senate Finance Committee approves its version of ObamaCare.

Wall St. Journal - Opinion

These are the days of miracles and wonders, as the Senate Finance Committee approved its version of ObamaCare yesterday on 14 to 9 vote, including Maine Republican Olympia Snowe. Now their health-care marvel—a new entitlement that will supposedly "reduce the costs of health care," as the President put it in his congratulatory message—will move to the Senate floor, and perhaps then to a doctor or hospital near you.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts is offering a preview of where all this will end up. The state passed a prototype for ObamaCare in 2006 on the same cost-control theory as Senate Finance, only to see spending explode. So now Beacon Hill is contemplating far more drastic spending-control measures, such as a plan to "require residents to give up their nearly unlimited freedom to go to any hospital and specialist they want," as the Boston Globe reported on Sunday. Paul Levy, the CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told the Globe that "You can't reap these savings without limiting patients' choices in some way."

A 10-member commission is trying to impose a new "global payment" system on the top-notch Massachusetts health system. Doctors and hospitals would be forced to join large networks and be paid a set rate for each patient. The idea is to make providers live within a fixed budget and cut down on expensive treatments. But if patients are allowed to receive care outside of whatever network they end up in, this new jerryrigged cost-control would break down, or not produce the desired "savings." You know who wins when the interests of government conflict with those of patients to choose a doctor or treatment.

We'll have more to say about such "accountable care organizations" in the coming days, as they're also a major element in the Senate Finance bill and the direction that Washington wants to move U.S. medicine. Yet anyone following yesterday's vote should understand what it will mean—because the Senators clearly don't.

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