Commentary Magazine


The Docs Are Out

Groups that were lured by the White House to dog-and-pony confabs and promised sweetheart deals in exchange for acquiescence on health care have gotten a rude awakening: ObamaCare in its latest incarnation is a terrible bill antithetical to their members’ interests. Well, it’s not like they weren’t warned.

USA Today reports that the Medicare “buy-in” has set off a firestorm from an array of medical groups that have finally figured out what’s afoot:

“Bringing more people into a system that doesn’t work very well is not a good answer,” said Jeffrey Korsmo, executive director of the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center. “The current Medicare program is not sustainable.” … Many details have not been announced, but the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association, pounced on a proposal to expand the seniors program because doctors receive less from Medicare than from private insurance for the same procedure. “If more people move into Medicare we’d … bear the financial brunt of this,” said Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the hospital trade group.

Will this opposition from key groups make a difference? Only if senators care about what’s in the bill and whether we’re solving some problem or creating many new ones. And as for those groups that played footsie with the Democratic lawmakers and the White House, it should be a lesson that when liberal politicians come looking for a government-centric health-care “reform” plan, it is best to run the other way and use their resources to educate the public about the dangers of such a scheme (reduced technological innovation, doctor shortages, rationing, medicine by government “experts” rather than medical professionals). Otherwise, patients, hospitals, and doctors are going to wind up the losers.

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