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 ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care 
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Modmin Dude
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Post ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
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OPINION FEBRUARY 23, 2011

ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
Many of its changes don't kick in until 2014. But the law is forcing dramatic consolidation and reducing choice in the industry.

By LLOYD M. KRIEGER
The Republicans who now control the House of Representatives hope to repeal or defund ObamaCare, but the law has already yielded profound, destructive changes that will not be undone by repeal or defunding alone. Active steps and new laws will be needed to repair the damage.

The most significant change is a wave of frantic consolidation in the health industry. Because the law mandates that insurers accept all patients regardless of pre-existing conditions, insurers will not make money with their current premium and provider-payment structures. As a result, they have already started to raise premiums and cut payments to doctors and hospitals. Smaller and weaker insurers are being forced to sell themselves to larger entities.

Doctors and hospitals, meanwhile, have decided that they cannot survive unless they achieve massive size—and fast. Six years ago, doctors owned more than two-thirds of U.S. medical practices, according to the Medical Group Management Association. By next year, nearly two-thirds will be salaried employees of larger institutions.

Consolidation is not necessarily bad, as larger medical practices and hospital systems can create some efficiencies. But in the context of ObamaCare's spiderweb of rules and regulations, consolidation is more akin to collectivization. It means that government bureaucrats will be able to impose controls with much greater ease.

With far fewer and much larger entities to browbeat, all changes in Medicare and Medicaid policies will go through the entire system like a shock wave. There will be far fewer individual insurers, doctors, hospitals, device makers, drug manufacturers, nursing homes and other health-care players to resist.

There is little mystery how the government will exercise its power. Choices will be limited. Pathways to expensive specialist care such as advanced radiology and surgery will decline. Cutting-edge devices and medicines will come into the system much more slowly and be used much less frequently.

This is why simply defunding enforcement of the individual mandate and other upcoming directives will not be enough: Given all this consolidation, limits on treatment choices are already becoming hardwired into the system. Lawmakers must take concrete steps to stop and reverse this.

On the provider end, this means enacting tax and other economic shields for insurers and providers that choose not to succumb to the financial pressure encouraging consolidation. It means unwinding all of the rules—about data compilation, reporting and compliance requirements, and information technology—designed to increase overhead to the point that only massive and easily regulated provider organizations can survive.

Legislators will have to scrub the 2,700-page ObamaCare law line by line to remove all of the disincentives for medical practices, hospitals and others to remain smaller and independent.

On the consumer end, reform means re-establishing choice at all levels of the system. Lawmakers at a minimum should change the individual mandate so that people can choose what type of coverage they buy. To do this, legislation has to ensure that all consumers have access to a menu of options for varying types of coverage, and that they are free to purchase policies across state lines. There should also be tax breaks for people who purchase medical care not covered by their insurance, so there is reasonable chance of escaping government-imposed limits on treatment choices.

System-wide, collectivization will be dismantled only by limiting the power of government agencies to determine what care gets funded. That means new legislation to supersede Section 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which requires herding everyone into "qualified plans" and forcing doctors (via fines, penalties and nonpayment) to follow care guidelines determined by the secretary of Health and Human Services.

ObamaCare is already doing great damage, even years before its individual mandate and other controls kick in. Its systematic undoing is an urgent necessity.

Dr. Krieger, a plastic surgeon, invests in health-care companies.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 03046.html

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February 24th, 2011, 9:55 am
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Post Re: ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
Tell me something I don't already know. :lol:

To make matters worse, the Department of Health and Human Services has granted 733 waivers (it's probably more now) to businesses and organizations that the law would adversely affect. It's quiite telling that over 40% of these waivers have gone to unions. Weren't the unions yelling and screaming that we had to pass Obamacare and now they're trying to be exempt from it? Some things are just too ridiculous to explain. Then again, I'm getting used to this sort of thing when it comes to libtards.

One thing the article didn't mention is that Obamacare bans building physician owned hospitals or the expansion of those that currently exist. Bet most of ya didn't know that, huh? Anyway, some of those hospitals are going out of business or are being sold to the huge Medical Corporations. So much for the free market and increased competition to lower prices. This law is an abomination no matter how you look at it. There might be 50 pages worth of good stuff, but the remaining 2650 pages are a load of crap being stuffed down the American people's throats.

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February 24th, 2011, 10:00 pm
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Post Re: ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
Enjoy!

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/rep-con ... -medicine/

http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/pla ... tate+Power

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March 15th, 2011, 1:19 pm
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Post Re: ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
We just had our yearly meetings on our healthcare coverage. They all raised rates because the Obama healthcare force minimum extra crap we didn't get before so our rates went up. Did congress really think we wouldn't end up paying for the extra coverage? I am now paying more for coverage I don't need and don't want.

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March 15th, 2011, 1:24 pm
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Post Re: ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
Welcome to the Audacity of Nope. Where we will all be "encouraged" (forced) to accept the current policies. At present we are being told what to eat (see New York), What to drive (government motors), and what we'll pay in taxes and healthcare, just so his Highness and her Majesty can run up 700 million dollar trips to India, or Spain, or wherever else that they wish to go, because if you couldn't tell it before, this is a "do as I say, not as I do" president.

This guy lies more than carpet at a Turkish rug store!

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March 15th, 2011, 1:38 pm
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Post Re: ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
Some may consider this a conspiracy theory, but I don't care. What Conyers is talking about in the video is exactly what I was saying last year when the bill was passed - Obamacare is a step toward single payer or government run health care. The bill is designed for businesses to drop medical coverage for their employees (it's cheaper to pay the fine) and for insurance companies to go out of business (having to pay a certain high % toward health care over administrative costs and profit). Once this happens, a crisis will emerge, where the government will be "forced" to step in with the public option. It's as plain as day to anyone with common sense, but some people simply refuse to believe it.

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March 15th, 2011, 10:57 pm
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Post Re: ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
WSJ wrote:
OPINION

ObamaCare and Carey's Heart
My daughter probably wouldn't have survived in a system where bureaucrats stifle innovation and ration care.


By RON JOHNSON
Today is the first anniversary of the greatest single assault on our freedom in my lifetime: the signing of ObamaCare. As we consider what this law may do to our country, I can't help but reflect on a medical miracle made possible by the American health-care system. It's one that holds special meaning for me.

Some years ago, a little girl was born with a serious heart defect: Her aorta and pulmonary artery were reversed. Without immediate intervention, she would not have survived.

The infant was rushed to another hospital where a surgeon performed a procedure at 1 a.m. that saved her life. Eight months later, when her heart was the size of a small plum, an incredibly dedicated and skilled team of medical professionals surgically reconstructed it. Twenty-seven years later, the young woman is now a nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit where she is studying to become a nurse practitioner.

She wasn't saved by a bureaucrat, and no government mandate forced her parents to purchase the coverage that saved her. Instead, her care was provided under a run-of-the-mill plan available to every employee of an Oshkosh, Wis., plastics plant.

If you haven't guessed, this story touches my heart because the girl is my daughter, Carey. And my wife and I are incredibly thankful that we had the freedom to seek out the most advanced surgical technique. The procedure that saved her, and has given her a chance at a full life, was available because America has a free-market system that has advanced medicine at a phenomenal pace.

I don't even want to think what might have happened if she had been born at a time and place where government defined the limits for most insurance policies and set precedents on what would be covered. Would the life-saving procedures that saved her have been deemed cost-effective by policy makers deciding where to spend increasingly scarce tax dollars?

Carey's story sounds like a miracle, but America has always been a place where medical miracles happen. Since 1970, American doctors have won more Nobel Prizes for Medicine than all other countries combined. According to McKinsey and Co., thousands of foreigners come to the United States every year for medical care they cannot get at home—due to rationing or because it is simply not provided. And cutting-edge drugs to treat serious illnesses are more widely available in the U.S. than abroad.

Take cancer as one example. Compared to the U.S., breast cancer mortality is 9% higher in Canada (according to the government statistics of each country), 52% higher in Germany and 88% higher in the United Kingdom (according to studies published in Lancet Oncology). Prostate cancer mortality is 604% higher in Britain.

Those in need of timely care from specialists are better off in the U.S. Drawing on several peer-reviewed studies, Dr. Scott Atlas of the Stanford University Medical Center notes that patients who need knee and hip replacement, cataract surgery, and radiation treatment wait months longer in the United Kingdom and Canada than in the United States.

The plain truth is that the American system is better at rewarding innovation and responding to consumer needs. But the history of government-led care is there for all to see. Are we doomed to repeat it?

For the first time in U.S. history, a personal inaction (not purchasing something, in this case, a health- insurance plan) will be deemed unlawful. The person not committing this act (or is it committing an inaction?) will be subject to a fine. Or is it now, as the government contends, a tax? I'm confused.

This is precisely what Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama wanted. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was sprung on an unsuspecting public with barely enough time for anyone to read it. Remember Speaker Pelosi's famous line? "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." Unbelievable.

I am convinced that ObamaCare was designed to lead to a government takeover of our entire health-care system, which is one-sixth of our economy. As I traveled around Wisconsin in the last year, I asked thousands of people a simple question: "Do you think the federal government has the capability of running one-sixth of our economy?" Only two people ever raised their hands.

Our health-care system has problems that must be addressed. But ObamaCare will make those problems much worse. Instead of increasing consumer choice, it narrows it. Instead of encouraging innovation, it stifles creativity. Instead of expanding access to care, it will ration it. And instead of allowing competition to help bring down costs, it increases spending and puts our health-care system on a path to ruin.

The defects with the president's health law are so serious and widespread that the administration has already granted over 1,000 waivers to protect businesses, labor unions and other organizations from its most onerous provisions. We need to recognize that the finest health-care system in the world is at risk—and repeal ObamaCare before it's too late.

Mr. Johnson, a Republican, is a senator from Wisconsin.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 70010.html

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March 23rd, 2011, 4:05 pm
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Post Re: ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
For those that didn't know, today is the one year anniversary of Obamacare! Let's celebrate! :idea:

Furthermore, the latest CNN poll shows that only 37% of Americans support the law, while 59% oppose it. Of course, they try to spin the results that 1/4 oppose it because it isn't liberal enough, but whatever. It clearly shows that a majority of Americans don't like the law as it is.

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March 23rd, 2011, 8:35 pm
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Post Re: ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
slybri19 wrote:
For those that didn't know, today is the one year anniversary of Obamacare! Let's celebrate! :idea:

Furthermore, the latest CNN poll shows that only 37% of Americans support the law, while 59% oppose it. Of course, they try to spin the results that 1/4 oppose it because it isn't liberal enough, but whatever. It clearly shows that a majority of Americans don't like the law as it is.

I'd be more interested in a poll that showed why and where people don't like it, instead of just "Do you like ObamaCare? Yes or No" Those types of polls are useless.

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March 24th, 2011, 10:42 am
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Post Re: ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
TheRealWags wrote:
slybri19 wrote:
For those that didn't know, today is the one year anniversary of Obamacare! Let's celebrate! :idea:

Furthermore, the latest CNN poll shows that only 37% of Americans support the law, while 59% oppose it. Of course, they try to spin the results that 1/4 oppose it because it isn't liberal enough, but whatever. It clearly shows that a majority of Americans don't like the law as it is.

I'd be more interested in a poll that showed why and where people don't like it, instead of just "Do you like ObamaCare? Yes or No" Those types of polls are useless.


I agree...

And Sly, it may be spin, but it still shows that it is possible that 37% + 1/4 gives a majority of Americans want socialized medicine. I don't believe that, but it is possible.

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March 24th, 2011, 10:57 am
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Post Re: ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
steensn wrote:
And Sly, it may be spin, but it still shows that it is possible that 37% + 1/4 gives a majority of Americans want socialized medicine. I don't believe that, but it is possible.


And that's the scariest thing of all. :(

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March 26th, 2011, 11:56 am
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Post Re: ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
Just to be clear, I am 100% against government sponsored/mandated anything. I own a PT practice and when Blue Cross/Aetna/AAA/Work Comp behave egregiously I can take them to court for relief. When Medicare behaves badly I have nowhere to go. In fact, Medicare defines what is proper and what is improper, so they win the argument before it begins.

That said, I fully understand a push to change our health insurance system. As a business owner I've watched my premiums escalate year after year for 20 years. We've had to take numerous steps including increasing copays, deductables and by having staff pay for their familiy benefits. (Believe me, my staff is not any happier about this than I am.) Still, after having done all this my premiums keep climbing, steeply.

I'm not sure what the solution should be, but something needs to change. I've got some radical ideas, like outlawing health insurance, or allowing people to practice health care without licenses, or having poor hospitals where patient's families take care of them under supervision of nurses/hospital support staff. Yep, these are pretty radical, but less radical than junking the constitution and mandating purchase of health insurance. (BTW mandating health insurance for everyone will ridiculously inflate the cost of health care, but nobody, and I mean nobody, wants to admit that. Mandated health care will start an economic bomb that will explode in 10 years. Fortunately I should be retired by then.)

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March 27th, 2011, 8:07 pm
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Post Re: ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
TruckinMack, I have a few personal questions to ask you since you own a PT practice. How will the Obamacare mandate to make all medical records electronic positively or negatively affect you and your business? I would imagine that it would be a cost burden.

Furthermore, wouldn't a cap on malpractice lawsuits reduce your premiums and the costs associated with your business?

If companies or individuals could acquire medical insurance over state lines, wouldn't that increase competition and decrease costs?

If Obamacare limits Medicare payments, wouldn't that increase rates for the rest of us?

The Obamacare 10% tax on medical equipment must subtract from your profit margin, so isn't that passed on to the patients?

How does all this result in lower costs as Obama claimed?

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April 2nd, 2011, 12:37 am
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Post Re: ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
slybri19 wrote:
TruckinMack, I have a few personal questions to ask you since you own a PT practice. How will the Obamacare mandate to make all medical records electronic positively or negatively affect you and your business? I would imagine that it would be a cost burden.

My records are all already electronic. No cost impact at all. I became electronic because it was easier and cheaper, not because the government told me to. If it becomes easier and cheaper otherwise, I would prefer to go that route. I like having choice available as an independent businessman.
slybri19 wrote:
Furthermore, wouldn't a cap on malpractice lawsuits reduce your premiums and the costs associated with your business?

Honestly don't know if a cap on lawsuits would decrease my premiums. Would a cap lead to more settlements, in some cases costing less money, but in others costing more money? Regardless, I spend about $2,500 a year on malpractice for everyone in my clinic. Not a real hardship.
slybri19 wrote:
If companies or individuals could acquire medical insurance over state lines, wouldn't that increase competition and decrease costs?

I am all for increasing competition across state lines. This does not take 'Obama-caring' to make it happen. Good simple legislation should fix this. (I am also against closed panel health insurance groups.)
slybri19 wrote:
If Obamacare limits Medicare payments, wouldn't that increase rates for the rest of us?

Medicare already 'limits' payments. Still, for years Medicare had the highest per visit reimbursement rate of any of our insurance plans. Presently they are number two to BC (because BC was paying hospitals way more than PT's for the same thing. A lawsuit ensued and BC lost. Rather than reduce hospital rates, they increased PT rates. It won't last long. I expect Medicare to soon be number one again.) The government does not set reimbursement fees for economic reasons, they set them for political reasons. History repeatedly shows us this.
slybri19 wrote:
The Obamacare 10% tax on medical equipment must subtract from your profit margin, so isn't that passed on to the patients?

Cannot answer this one, we are not into DME's (Durable Medial Equipment). My guess would be like everything else, if my costs are increased, I find a way to pass them on.
slybri19 wrote:
How does all this result in lower costs as Obama claimed?

To repeat, Obamacare will lead to a financial bomb that will explode in about 10 years. To borrow from PJ O'Rourke "If you think health care cost a lot now, just wait until it is free." Anything the government pays for costs far more than when done privately.

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April 3rd, 2011, 9:21 am
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Post Re: ObamaCare Is Already Damaging Health Care
I would like to add a thought on Malpractice suits. I think our whole country would be in better shape if we returned to the mindset of 'Caveat Emptor', let the buyer beware. Lawsuit damages should apply under conditions that were either grossly and intentionally misleading or grossly negligent. Health care costs way too much because of lawsuit awards... but so do ladders.

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April 3rd, 2011, 9:29 am
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