Thursday, October 27, 2011

Death Panels slog on

There has never been any real dispute that ObamneyCare© will, in fact, reduce health care choices. When the power to decide who's treated (and lives) is granted to the state, personal choice goes away. We've seen this under the MVNHS©, and now we're seeing even more evidence that this is the goal of ObamneyCare©:

"MPAC [Medicare Payment Advisory Commission], whose decisions have the force of law, has voted to impose drastic pay cuts on all doctors under Medicare ... The cuts will effectively reduce the real pay for specialists by 50% over the next ten years ... and cut general practitioners' pay by one-third over ten years"

The net effect of these cuts will be, of necessity, a dramatic reduction in the number of primary care docs willing to see Medicare patients, and even fewer specialists willing to treat them. This is often called rationing, but I think it's even worse: it's relegating the most vulnerable among us, those who have "paid their dues" and relied (perhaps unrealistically) on the implied contract that required them to pay Medicare taxes for all those years.

In the longer term, though, this bodes ill for those under 65, as well. For one thing, it demonstrates conclusively that the aforementioned contract is binding only on the citizenry (death, taxes and all that). But consider this: if reimbursement rates are slashed, then physicians' incomes are reduced. So where's the incentive to spend all that time and money in medical school? If there's no realistic path to financial success, then we've explicitly said "my son the doctor? Oh, I hope not!"

Baby, bathwater, some assembly required.
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