Monday, June 04, 2007

Rocky Road Insurance

The Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Reform recently selected four health care reform proposals for eventual consideration by the Colorado legislature. Although they differ in their details, these differences are dwarfed by their fundamental similarity - they all entail a massive increase in government interference in medicine in the name of "universal coverage."

Massive interference.

Good way to put it.

All four plans inject government force into the doctor-patient relationship. They include some combination of forcing all residents into a single health program, forcing some or all individuals and/or businesses to purchase a state-approved insurance policy, requiring insurance companies to provide new additional benefits, establishing a new bureaucracy to set payments to the doctors for services they provide, and doubling the Colorado Medicaid population.

These are just disguised forms of socialized medicine

Socialized medicine. A term avoided by those in favor of government control & interference with the health care delivery system.

Similar programs already have been tried in states and other countries. They have all failed, resulting only in higher costs and lower quality patient care. The TennCare disaster - Tennessee's failed attempt at "universal coverage" - offers an important lesson for Colorado.

For some reason the folks in CO must think they can do a better job than those in TN did.

Or maybe they are just ignoring the historical facts.

The Tennessee government initially offered a generous benefits package. Predictably, costs skyrocketed because patients had no incentives to spend prudently. In response, the government attempted to control costs by slashing payments to doctors and hospitals.

Spending like a drunken sailor. React by cutting what you pay the providers.

Wanna guess what happened then?

Hospitals closed and doctors left the state in droves. Many doctors who remained stopped seeing TennCare patients since they lost money on each one.

Yup. You could see that coming.

How many of these plans must fail before elected officials cease to participate in vote-buying strategies by pandering to those who want the government to take care of them?
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