Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's Rationing, Whether the S-L Wants to Call It That or Not

In a recent editorial, A Dose of Medicine for Hospitals, the NJ Star-Ledger lauded one of the ObamaCare "reforms" currently being implemented:

Now, hospitals have an added incentive for making sure readmissions drop: Starting in October, a carrot and stick — courtesy of health care reform — will swing into action. Hospitals with the highest rates of patient readmission within 30 days of a discharge will forfeit 1 percent of the amount they bill Medicare. The percentage increases every year, until the readmission rate trends downward.

 The Editors claim that this is not rationing. It's all about "efficiencies in Medicare" and "guidance" and "help" and "communication" and "coordinating care" for patients--all courtesy of government officials and their "carrots and sticks."

I've left the following comments:

July 12, 2012 at 11:09AM
Government controlled and/or run medicine always leads to exploding costs and ultimately rationing. This is a piece of proof. The editors apparently think they can bend reality by simply refusing to call a spade a spade.
Healthcare decision-making morally and rightfully belongs to the patient (and, when appropriate, his family) and his doctors and other healthcare providers. Now, patients and their families will not know whether they are being turned away from a hospital based on reasoned medical judgment or because of government edicts or threatened fines. Government bureaucrats will use their “carrots and sticks” to enforce their judgment on patients and doctors. The horrific incentives created will now pit hospitals against doctors’ judgment and patient wishes. Goodbye doctor-patient relationship and Hippocratic Oath.
This is back-door rationing; but it is rationing none-the-less. “The old way of doing things” certainly had its problems, thanks to massive government interference. It was already partially socialized, with the rest heavily controlled. ObamaCare is more of the same; another huge step toward the ultimate statist goal, totalitarian socialized medicine. 

Related Reading:

ObamaCare and the Statists' False Alternative

PSA Testing: Are Death Panels Arriving Under Cover of "Scientific Evidence?"

Forbes: "Death Panels... We Already Have One"

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