The New York Times has finally blown the lid off what we already knew to be the truth, that ObamaCare and the like will need to result in government-rationed care simply to control the costs associated and keep programs from immediate catastrophic financial collapse.
The story, which comes out conveniently after ObamaCare has passed, explains exactly what many have been saying for a year now concerning cost-benefit analysis on who gets what level care and when.
How can we learn to say no?
The federal government is now starting to build the institutions that will try to reduce the soaring growth of health care costs. There will be a group to compare the effectiveness of different treatments, a so-called Medicare innovation center and a Medicare oversight board that can set payment rates.
But all these groups will face the same basic problem. Deep down, Americans tend to believe that more care is better care. We recoil from efforts to restrict care.
Americans believe more care is better care because the government, as well as private health-related organizations, have pushed it for years. We’ve been told for years to get proper screenings from early ages and even more screenings and tests if we’re in any high risk category. Suddenly these guidelines will change in the name of saving money for the government since ObamaCare will be bankrupt before it begins.
From an economic perspective, health reform will fail if we can’t sometimes push back against the try-anything instinct. The new agencies will be hounded by accusations of rationing, and Medicare’s long-term budget deficit will grow.
So figuring out how we can say no may be the single toughest and most important task facing the people who will be in charge of carrying out reform. “Being able to say no,” Dr. Alan Garber of Stanford says, “is the heart of the issue.”
It’s easy to come up with arguments for why we need to do so. Above all, we don’t have a choice. Giving hospitals and drug makers a blank check will bankrupt Medicare. Slowing the cost growth, on the other hand, will free up resources for other uses, like education. Lower costs will also lift workers’ take-home pay.
But I suspect that these arguments won’t be persuasive. They have the faint ring of an insurer’s rationale for denying a claim. Compared with an anecdote about a cancer patient looking for hope, the economic arguments are soulless.
This has been my exact point for a year now.
Those supporting ObamaCare complain up and down that insurance companies deny claims and withhold care from those they insure. However, ObamaCare will inevitably end up doing the same things under the guise of saving money and whether the treatment “benefits” the system as a whole.
Make no mistake, treatments will be denied under ObamaCare probably tenfold more than they are under private insurance. Finally, the New York Times is willing to divulge this also since they know it to be the truth.
The result will be doctors choosing care based on what fits government guidelines the same way some are now forced to give care based on insurance company guidelines. There will not be a difference other than the fact that you can change insurance companies but you cannot change ObamaCare. Furthermore, no insurance company can force you, by law, to buy from them. ObamaCare will soon be forcing every man, woman and child to buy insurance of face stiff penalties such as the withholding and/or garnishing of your federal tax rebate.
Why then, why are we are bothering to create ObamaCare when it will be riddled with the same shortcomings associated with the current private instance market? There is no rationale since the stories of “denied coverage” will continue to persist under ObamaCare except now they won’t be used on the campaign trail by Democrats.
The answer is to repeal ObamaCare boldly and replace it with market-driven, patient-centric reforms which empower the individual, not government bureaucrats.