WHAT’S UP, DOC?

by michael on May 1, 2011

Evidently nothing good; that is, nothing good for people. This article in the New York Post blog
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/doc_holiday_Nyb5JCHkWyejLq7dTjTs2J/1 is more than disturbing. The behavior of the government that is behind this story is as enraging as it is illustrative of the methodical dismantling of our health care system, which even a pet rock knows is the best and most innovative in the world.

Keep in mind that the healthcare legislation funds 16,000 Internal Revenue Agents to intrude into every facet of your medical care and to enforce financial obligations but does not fund or give financial incentives to a single nurse or doctor.

Given the consequences, no one can be for individual rights or individual liberty or for social justice and support this obscene legislation. It is understandable, although contemptuous, that the modern state becomes more tyrannical and controlling and, by the way, more selective in who gets preferences and who does not.

What is not quite so understandable is why so many politicians are willing to subvert our healthcare system and even less understandable is why so many voters vote for these pernicious people.

In summary, the take away message is this: less doctors; more state control. Here are a few paragraphs: Read the entire article.

Doc holiday

By MICHAEL D. TANNER
Last Updated: 4:52 AM, May 1, 2011
Posted: 11:01 PM, April 30, 2011
The doctor is not in.
The United States already faces a growing physician shortage. As our population ages, we require more and more intensive health care. At the same time, enrollment in medical schools has been essentially flat, meaning we are not producing new physicians at anywhere near the rate we need to. In fact, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges, we face a shortfall of more than 150,000 doctors over the next 15 years.
And it could get a whole lot worse.
The health reform bill signed into law last year is expected to significantly increase the number of Americans with health insurance or participating in the Medicaid program. Meanwhile, an aging population will increase participation in Medicare. This means a greater demand for physician services.
But at the same, the bill may drive physicians out of practice.
Existing government programs already reimburse physicians at rates that are often less than the actual cost of treating a patient. Estimates suggest that on average physicians are reimbursed at roughly 78% of costs under Medicare, and just 70% of costs under Medicaid. Physicians must either make up for this shortfall by shifting costs to those patients with insurance — meaning those of us with insurance pay more — or treat patients at a loss.
—–
The government’s own chief actuary says that reimbursement cuts could mean “reductions in access to care and/or the quality of care.” Once the cuts hit hospitals, they too will be in trouble. Medicare’s actuaries estimate that 15% of hospitals could close. Inner-city and rural hospitals would be hardest hit.
In fact, we have already seen the start of this process in Massachusetts, where Mitt Romney’s health care reforms were nearly identical to President Obama’s. Romney’s reforms increased the demand for health care but did nothing to expand the supply of physicians. In fact, by cracking down on insurance premiums, Massachusetts pushed insurers to reduce their payments to providers, making it less worthwhile for doctors to expand their practices. As a result, the average wait to get an appointment with a doctor grew from 33 days to over 55 days.
Michael Tanner, a Cato Institute senior fellow, is co-author of “Healthy Competition: What’s Holding Back Health Care and How To Free It.”

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