Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Changes for Medicare

In a move to circumvent Congress, President Obama made a stealth appointment to head up CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services).

According to Fox News, Dr. Donald Berwick is "an outspoken proponent of the British health care system".

The MVNHS (Most Vaunted National Health Service) has been the subject of numerous posts at InsureBlog, most of them less than flattering.

It is no secret that Obama and some members of Congress want to force the U.S. into a single payer health care system such as exists in Great Brittain, Canada and most European countries. By eliminating private sector health care providers and replacing them with government employees the federal government will be able to control one aspect of health care, but not the most important one.

Limiting salaries and dictating what is and is not covered under a national health care plan certainly goes a long way toward reducing costs, but it does nothing about utilization beyond creating queues for those seeking care. Health care inflation can be manipulated but not controlled as evidenced by the financial strain that exists in virtually every country that has a socialized medicine program.

"Dr. Berwick is a self-professed supporter of rationing health care, and he won't even have to explain his views to the American people in a Congressional hearing."

If allowed to pursue his dream the Guinea pigs will be the poor and our senior population.

Medicare is to be a key testing ground for numerous aspects of the new law, from developing new medical techniques to trying out new payment systems

Paging Dr. Mengele.

CMS has been without a director since 2006 but suddenly, according to the White House, we are in crisis and Medicare cannot continue without someone at the helm.

Wikipedia includes these comments about Dr. Berwick.

Berwick's critics have cited his statements about the need for health care to redistribute resources from the rich to the poor, and his favorable statements about the British health care systems (which they accuse of rationing care and "death panels"). They quote Berwick as saying, “It’s not a question of whether we will ration care. It is whether we will ration with our eyes open.” They point to statements such as, “Any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional.”

Wonder what Linda O'Boyle would think about this move?
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