If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll recall a month or two ago that when Sarah Palin started talking publicly about the rationing and “death panels” seen behind HR 3200 a lot of us were already talking about for some time, the elitist media and politicians pooh-poohed her.
But like the typical government nightmare that keeps coming back, health care rationing is making a comeback–this time in the Baucus bill.
The offending provision is on Pages 80-81 of the bill buried deep in a section about Medicare payments to doctors that would take an attorney to decipher.
“Beginning in 2015, payment would be reduced by five percent if an aggregation of the physician’s resource use is at or above the 90th percentile of national utilization,” the Baucus bill says.
The Times translates the language into plain English, saying “it means that in any year in which a particular doctor’s average per-patient Medicare costs are in the top 10 percent in the nation, the feds will cut the doctor’s payments by 5 percent.”
“This provision makes no account for the results of care, its quality or even its efficiency. It just says that if a doctor authorizes expensive care, no matter how successfully, the government will punish him by scrimping on what already is a low reimbursement rate for treating Medicare patients,” the Times explains.
“The incentive, therefore, is for the doctor always to provide less care for his patients for fear of having his payments docked. And because no doctor will know who falls in the top 10 percent until year’s end, or what total average costs will break the 10 percent threshold, the pressure will be intense to withhold care, and withhold care again, and then withhold it some more,” it continues. “Or at least to prescribe cheaper care, no matter how much less effective, in order to avoid the penalties.”
According to the article, the Washington Times has examined the bill and confirmed this.
I understand that petty realities that doctors are real people, too, and must make a living, simply don’t appear in the framework of liberal utopian thought, but for the rest of us, it’s something we have to deal with.
Our liberal government may be able to create money out of thin air, but real Americans–including doctors–must come by money the old fashioned way: by earning it. And if doctors and medical facilities are faced with seeing their payments cut by 5%, they’re going to make darn sure they don’t cross the threshold which will trigger that cut.
Me? I’ll side with the American way of life over socialism every time, taking my chances based on my own resources and ingenuity over a cold, distant, bureaucratic Marxist government thousands of miles away every time.
How about you? If you’re thinking of supporting the current move to socialize health care in America, take a look at Marxism world wide and throughout history, then ask yourself: do you feel lucky?