Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Uncle Sam and SFAS 106

"Texas doctors are opting out of Medicare at alarming rates, frustrated by reimbursement cuts they say make participation in government-funded care of seniors unaffordable. ... 'This new data shows the Medicare system is beginning to implode,' said Dr. Susan Bailey, president of the Texas Medical Association. 'If Congress doesn't fix Medicare soon, there'll be more and more doctors dropping out and Congress' promise to provide medical care to seniors will be broken.' ... The largest number of doctors opting out comes from primary care, a field already short of practitioners nationally and especially in Texas. ... The opt-outs follow years of declining Medicare reimbursement that culminated in a looming 21 percent cut in 2010. Congress has voted three times to postpone the cut, which was originally to take effect Jan. 1. It is now set to take effect June 1. ... Guy Culpepper, a Dallas-area family practitioner [said] 'The only way to provide cost-effective care is outside the Medicare system, a system without constant paperwork and headaches and inadequate reimbursement.' ... The issue caused the Texas Medical Association to break with the American Medical Association and oppose health care reform efforts throughout 2009. ... US Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he isn't surprised by the new opt-out numbers, allowing that Congress' inability to reform Medicare is leaving 'seniors without access and breaking the promise we made to them'," Todd Ackerman at the Houston Chronicle, 18 May 2010, link:

"One of the many fashionable notions that have caught on among some of the intelligentsia is that old people have 'a duty to die,' rather than become a burden to others. ... Already the government-run medical system in Britain is restricting what medications or treatments it will authorize for the elderly. Moreover, it seems almost certain that similar attempts to contain runaway costs will lead to similar policies when American medical care is taken over by the government. ... If a government-run medical system is going to save any serious amount of money, it is almost certain to do so by sacrificing the elderly", my emphasis, Thomas Sowell at Townhall, 11 May 2010: http://townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2010/05/11/a_duty_to_die.

Let's repeal the 13th Amendment with respect to doctors. Problem solved. Didn't we get an Obamacare cost estimate for the next ten years? Aren't you comfortable with it? Didn't the CBO say it would be $849 billion? Various goverments will break many promises over the next ten years. Got bonds? Sell! As I've written before, "Kill the old white women"! That's how Medicare costs will will be reduced. I wonder if a Big 87654 firm would opine on the CBO's estimate?

I agree with Sowell. Kill the old white women!


Anonymous said...

(AP) — More medical care won't necessarily make you healthier — it may make you sicker. It's an idea that technology-loving Americans find hard to believe.

Anywhere from one-fifth to nearly one-third of the tests and treatments we get are estimated to be unnecessary, and avoidable care is costly in more ways than the bill: It may lead to dangerous side effects.

It can start during birth, as some of the nation's increasing C-sections are triggered by controversial fetal monitors that signal a baby is in trouble when really everything's fine.

It extends to often futile intensive care at the end of the life.

In between:
—Americans get the most medical radiation in the world, much of it from repeated CT scans. Too many scans increase the risk of cancer.

—Thousands who get stents for blocked heart arteries should have tried medication first.

—Doctors prescribe antibiotics tens of millions of times for viruses such as colds that the drugs can't help.

—As major health groups warn of the limitations of prostate cancer screening, even in middle age, one-third of men over 75 get routine PSA tests despite guidelines that say most are too old to benefit. Millions of women at low risk of cervical cancer get more frequent Pap smears than recommended; millions more have been screened even after losing the cervix to a hysterectomy.

—Back pain stands out as the No. 1 overtreated condition, from repeated MRI scans that can't pinpoint the trouble to spine surgery on people who could have gotten better without it. About one in five who gets that first back operation will wind up having another in the next decade.

Overtreatment means someone could have fared as well or better with a lesser test or therapy, or maybe even none at all. Avoiding it is less about knowing when to say no, than knowing when to say, "Wait, doc, I need more information!"

Ubu said...

The obvious problem with socialized anything is getting the people who pull the weight to go along with the scheme. Very quickly, the socialists are playing an endless game of catch with the people trying to duck their newest set of onerous laws and regulations. Eventually, after losing for decades to the people trying to stay off the leash, the socialists have two choices, block the exits so no one can find a better place to ply their skills, or call out the secret police to knock some skulls. That's socialism's endgame.