healthcare quality

Government Healthcare Quality Means Losing Doctors [VIDEO]

A bipartisan bill claims to improve healthcare quality for Medicare. Sure it will.

Who believes that a Federal bureaucracy and new federal regulations can improve healthcare quality?

Answer: A bipartisan majority in a Republican-controlled Congress. And, of course, Barack Obama who signed the bill into law. Here’s the regime propaganda about the law:

Like the Affordable Care Act, the new law is actually an authorization for a bureaucracy to make new laws. That’s what the video above is indicating when it claims the newly released, 2400-page draft of regulations “stems from a bipartisan bill” that Obama signed. Basically, Congress declared that the Medicare bureaucracy could craft the right rules to improve healthcare quality.

That would be laughable if the consequences weren’t so serious. Instead, Medicare is likely to make doctors stop participating just like health insurance companies have dropped out of the Obamacare exchanges.

John S. O’Shea, M.D., writes at Lifezette about “MACRA,”

In what may be the most significant modification to Medicare since the program began in 1966, on Oct. 15, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule for implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). It dramatically changes how Medicare pays doctors for their services.

Does it really matter how doctors get paid? Yes — the success or failure of the new payment system will profoundly influence the future of the U.S. health care system. And while the goals of MACRA are laudable, its implementation carries a number of unknowns and the potential for unintended consequences — for patients and doctors alike.

Again, none of the people occupying the CMS were elected by anyone. They are not the legislature yet they somehow (we are told) have the power to write the most significant laws for Medicare in sixty years. Calling their dictates “rules” instead of laws is just a fig leaf over a naked usurpation of power.

Basically, we have here a socialist or semi-socialist program producing low-quality healthcare. But instead of admitting that this was wrong, a bipartisan majority empowered bureaucrats to magically restore healthcare quality. Instead, they will make it worse.

Here’s how it will go down:

If faced with increased reporting and administrative burdens, declining reimbursements and new payment arrangements that put their income at risk, many doctors — especially independent practitioners — may feel that they simply can’t afford to participate in Medicare any more. One recent survey of physicians found nearly 40-percent expect a “mass exodus” from Medicare over MACRA. Given the predicted shortage of doctors over the next decade and an aging population, this would be disastrous.

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If MACRA is implemented according to the arbitrary timeline set by the administration, it could force doctors to abandon private practice for salaried positions or leave practice altogether — neither of which would be good for patient care. So, yes, we all should care how doctors get paid.

And we can have no doubt, when MACRA fails, the response to the government disaster will be more government. Never let a crisis go the waste.

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Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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