Monday, March 15, 2010

On wigs, rationing and pesky relatives

Our suspicions that nationalized healthcare would make health care politicized and thus leveraged by politicians was confirmed by the situation regarding an expensive breast cancer drug and New Zealand which has nationalized healthcare.

Check out video below with a former Reason magazine Editor-in-Chief Virginia Postrel, a breast cancer survivor, herself.

And the President's own second cousin, once removed, Dr. Milton Wolf, chimes in with some thoughts on Obamacare:

The justification for Obamacare has been to control costs, but the problem is there is little in Obamacare that will do that. Instead, there are provisions that will ration care and artificially set price. This is a confusion of costs and price.

As one example, consider the implications of Obamacare’s financial penalty aimed at your doctor if he seeks the expert care he has determined you need. If your doctor is in the top 10 percent of primary care physicians who refer patients to specialists most frequently – no matter how valid the reasons – he will face a 5 percent penalty on all their Medicare reimbursements for the entire year. This scheme is specifically designed to deny you the chance to see a specialist.

Each year, the insidious nature of that arbitrary 10 percent rule will make things even worse as 100 percent of doctors try to stay off that list. Many doctors will try to avoid the sickest patients, and others will simply refuse to accept Medicare. Already, 42 percent of doctors have chosen that route, and it will get worse. Your mother’s shiny government-issued Medicare health card is meaningless without doctors who will accept it.

Again, Obamacare has gone all in with the obsession of controlling costs. If you think a bureaucracy as clumsy and cumbersome as the federal government will be able to affect bending the cost curve downward via innovation and an ability to efficiently respond to health care sector demands, you are sadly delusional.

The most effective means at its disposal to control costs is to employ broad-brushed rationing techniques such as that illustrated above.

Read the rest of Dr. Wolf's excellent take-down, here.


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B-Daddy said...

Dean, you've been linked. Time to go all in against Obamacare.