What gets treated?
July 26, 2012
A recent letter to the editor defending the merits of Obamacare left out some vital information.
Eighty-year-old Tom Perkins, of venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers, responded recently in the Wall Street Journal to the US Preventative Health Service’s recommended cutbacks on prostate cancer screening. He said that if his doctors had followed that recommendation, he would be dead. Mr. Perkins’ firm funded the development of the currently used PSA test.
Then we have “Doctors for Obama” Dr. Christine Cassel spearheading the “Choosing Wisely” initiative to eliminate 45 senior-oriented medical protocols, in the name of overutilization. Meanwhile the Obama FDA has rescinded or blocked approval of expensive drugs like Avastin (breast cancer) and Eliquis (stroke prevention).
The Obama administration is colluding to create testing and treatment shortages that will be used to justify government decisions about who gets treated and who doesn’t.
The promise that Obamacare will cover more people for less cost can only happen if health care resources are redistributed from the old and sick to those more “cost effective” to treat.
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Obamacare expands the health care bureaucracy, the IRS, and taxes – 21 new taxes, mostly on the Democrats’ precious 99 percent. What it doesn’t expand is the number of doctors, nurses, or clinics to provide currently acceptable levels of treatment to everyone. Universal coverage in the case of seniors will be mostly theoretical and very shallow.
The current health care system is dysfunctional because of government participation. Any senior will tell you it takes some searching to find a doctor that accepts new Medicare patients, but the same isn’t true for, say, Blue Cross. Medicare saves money by undercompensating medical providers.
If it weren’t for cost shifting from private insurance, Medicare patients would be hard pressed to find any doctors at all.
A related problem is that Medicare has proven itself to be so publicly and embarrassingly inept at controlling fraud that it requires health care providers to waste time and money furnishing elaborately complex documentation in order to receive compensation.
Medicare has also commissioned its own vigilante fraud detection squad, its Senior Patrol, something private insurers seem able to do without.
As a recent Wall Street Journal editorial put it: “[Medicare] is a massive Rube Goldberg contraption. Its 2,700 pages include every pipe, whistle and valve that the nation’s academic health-care economists and doctors have soldered together from infinite studies of hospital data. The new machine even has its own boiler-room crew, the 15 health-care academics of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, who will monitor and adjust the flow of medicine through the national health-care pipelines.”
You seniors had better hope your free annual Obamacare check-up doesn’t turn up anything serious.