• New Zeal Blog

Healthcare Rationing on Its Way

Most people really never got involved in the healthcare protests and debate that went on for almost a year. One of the main worries that I had was rationing. Let me start by explaining how things work now then I will explain the rationing fears I have.

Right now the biggest payer for healthcare is Medicare and Medicaid these bureaucratic behemoths set reimbursement rates and insurance companies follow suit. This drives suppliers to find more efficient ways to deliver care. Also Medicare and Medicaid are the biggest deniers of payment for care, forcing providers to hire additional staff just to wade through the red tape paper work, to ensure they are reimbursed. The only way Medicare and Medicaid controls its cost is to reduce reimbursements to the suppliers. This starts a vicious circle on the provider side of the equation. Just by saying I am only going to pay you x dollars for a service doesn’t mean the overall cost of that service is reduced. The cost to provide the service is still the same.

Hospitals in this country are mostly cutting edge, they invest in new technology and new procedures, they have to be able to pass this investment cost on to the consumer like any other business. There are more and more consumer demands on hospitals. Demands like a low patient to care giver ratio, private rooms, newer more modern facilities and so on. But the hospitals are not allowed to charge more for these services. Imagine Apple coming out with a brand new technology and being told that they can’t charge to recoup their cost. High end insurance and consumers are paying for the above mentioned amenities. The cost is being transferred from Medicare and Medicaid to others.

Once Obamacare kicks in there will be at least 30 million new ‘government’ insured participants. The newly insured will want the same care as everyone else. This will put a strain on all existing providers. Also there are many predictions that most small companies will dump their employees on to the government run program. Not only that if there are any changes to your existing insurance you will be dumped into the Medicare style government program. You don’t have to be an economics major to understand what that means. Demand greatly will exceed the supply (providers of care).

As discussed above the way Medicare tries to reduce cost to itself is by either cutting reimbursements or by denying claims to providers. What will happen next should be truly frightening for anyone with health problems and is outside the Complete Lives Systems window. What is that you ask, it is written by Zeke Emmanuel Obama’s special advisor for Health Policy the link to the full document is here. Bottom line is your life is not worth anything the first few years and last few years so Health Care should be rationed and provided to people who are more productive.  Couple this with the recent recess appointment of Donald Berwick and now you should be extremely concerned. Who is Donald Berwick. I will link to an article with an embedded video and let Ed Morrissey explain, the article on Berwick is here .

Netting everything out we are going to have extreme demand on the health care system and we have two radicals one on Health Policy and the other is head of CMS (Center for Medicare Service) in charge of deciding how much to pay and eventually who will receive care. I see nothing good on the horizon. Please watch the video of Donald Berwick which I linked to above he says some very worrisome things.

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