Master this how-to guide and you’ll be on your way.
Master this how-to guide and you’ll be on your way.
“Edward Annis, MD, spoke eloquently to an empty Garden and to one of the biggest TV audiences of the times.
He explained directly to viewers: “This is not health care insurance … It will put government smack into your hospitals … deciding who gets in, who gets out, what they get, and what they don’t get. … This King-Anderson Bill is a cruel hoax and a delusion. … It will stand between the patient and his doctor. And it will serve as a forerunner of a different system of medicine for all Americans.”
In the late 1990s I asked Dr. Annis what was in the King-Anderson Bill that enabled him to predict in 1962 the insolvency of Medicare and the coming government takeover of healthcare. He replied with a smile, “Cost-plus financing. It was a license to steal.”
Indeed, Medicare ushered in unbridled spending for two decades before approaching insolvency.
But, as predicted by Dr. Annis, the system became insolvent by the early nineties… Hospitals and many providers became addicted to the easy money and abused the system. Why not? Cost-plus meant guaranteed profit.
Faced with Medicare insolvency, the insurance lobby persuaded Hillary Clinton to have secret meetings, without physician input.
Though Hillarycare never became law, the effort brought a sea change. Patients could no longer choose their doctor. Insurance companies now owned the patients. Participation in HMOs rose from 10% to 50%. Your doctor could no longer refer you to the best hospital or consultants if they were “out of network.” The doctor-patient bond had been successfully severed.
Medicare does not mandate who gets into hospitals, but it forces patients to get out by paying for only a limited number of days.
For the past two decades, hospitals have aggressively been buying up medical practices. The goal is to establish accountable care organizations (ACOs). Private practitioners are being elbowed out slowly but surely. General practitioners (GPs) cannot admit a patient to the hospital without “hospitalists” taking over. Hospital surgeons cannot refer to private surgeons, etc. Even the concierge model will be wiped out.
The Medicare approach to ACOs requires three things: 1) electronic medical records, 2) a “Quality Care Protocol,” and 3) a “Protocol for the Elimination of Non-Compliant Physicians.”
This is the ideal rationing system.
The computer will eventually dictate all allowed testing and treatments according to a “quality,” or more likely “cheapest way to do it,” protocol. Providers will ration according to the computer or they will fall into the “protocol for elimination of non-compliant physicians.”
In the new system, no one has a doctor. Doctors have a shift. The doctor you see on the morning shift has absolutely no responsibility for you when his/her shift is over or on a day off. A nurse practitioner takes the patient history and physical, further fractionating care. A system like this requires that all doctors are created equal. They are not.
Politicians and bean counters have never understood healthcare delivery. It was used and abused as a political tool.
No one listened to the warning of Dr. Annis. The AMA is often demonized by historians for opposition to Medicare, but it understood healthcare delivery and the destructive nature of cost-plus financing. I blossomed in the Golden Age of Medicine and bear witness to the fall.
A at the Mercatus Center estimates that Medicare for all would cost $32.6 trillion over the next ten years. Other studies have been in the same ballpark and they imply that we would need a 25% payroll tax. And that assumes that doctors and hospitals provide the same amount of care they provide today, even though they would be paid Medicare rates, which are about 40% below what private insurance has been paying. Without those cuts in provider payments, the needed payroll tax would be closer to 30%.
“This 124-page document challenges a premise behind 50 years of thinking in health policy circles: that our most serious problems in health care arise because of flaws in the private sector. Most problems arise because of government failure, not market failure, the document declares, and it goes into great detail on how to correct the policy errors.
Medicare’s Value-Based Payment Modifier Program, which was designed to improve value by paying doctors who perform better on measures of quality and spending, was a failure, and, in fact, likely exacerbated disparities in delivery, according to the study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The payment system inadvertently shifted money away from doctors who treated sicker, poorer patients to pay bonuses that rewarded practices that treated richer, healthier patients, the study said.
Dr. Goodman’s article is a fantastic foray into the dark history organized medicine, culminating with a brutally honest assessment of the cartel that resulted. He gives a great preview of the good stuff in Greg Scandlen’s new book, Myth Busters: Why Health Reform Always Goes Awry, summarizing the oft-repeated myths we hear about healthcare economics thrown around like dogma.
You can take this to the bank. Every innovation in the production of every good or service – anything that lowers costs or increases quality – originates on the supply side of the market. There has never been a successful innovation that originated on the demand side.
This principle applies to health care in spades. For as long as I have been in health policy – more than 30 years – I have been dealing with non-doctors who have a deep, abiding desire to tell doctors what to do. Yet I don’t know of any example anywhere in the world where this approach has ever worked.
If the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and each time expecting a different result then “insanity” is the appropriate word here. The Obama administration has spent millions of dollars on pilot programs and demonstration projects in a fruitless attempt to discover how to better practice medicine. It has spent millions more trying to herd Medicare patients into Accountable Care Organizations – super HMOs with financial incentives to hit quality measures. That hasn’t worked either.
Look, there’s nothing wrong with the Triple Aim objectives. What’s wrong is that its most prominent advocates–some of the most influential health care experts in the country–have focused so heavily on that ideological approach to health care policy that they have absented themselves from the real battles over power, money, customer choice, and cost. They are losing ground every day. While they glance elsewhere, the Triple Aim is being turned on its head: The individual experience of care will degrade; the health of populations will decline; and the per capita costs of care for populations will rise.
Restraining Government in America and Around the World
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Richard Feinman, the Other
Our Rights come from God, not government. Physician/ Patient/ Survivor/ Wife/ Mother of 4 daughters/ Small biz owner/ Limited Government/ No Socialized Medicine/ Texan/ President www.AAPSonline.org
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