Monday, July 20, 2009

Has Ted Kennedy torpedoed Obamacare?

Bill Kristol thinks this just might do the trick, as Kennedy has come right out and said Obamacare means rationing of healthcare.

"For Kennedy and his co-author, Bob Shrum, have let the rationing cat out of the bag. And that's a problem for President Obama and the Democrats. Make no mistake: Beyond all the other crippling problems with the Democrats' health care proposal--its cost at a time of massive deficits, the tax increases it requires at a time of recession, its preference for government over the private sector and for central planning over free competition--the deepest vulnerability of Obamacare is that it (intentionally) puts us on a course towards government rationing of health care."
Quoting the The Swimmer, and co-author Shrum, in the linked Newsweak article:
"We also need to move from a system that rewards doctors for the sheer volume of tests and treatments they prescribe to one that rewards quality and positive outcomes. For example, in Medicare today, 18 percent of patients discharged from a hospital are readmitted within 30 days--at a cost of more than $15 billion in 2005.

Most of these readmissions are unnecessary, but we don't reward hospitals and doctors for preventing them. By changing that, we'll save billions of dollars while improving the quality of care for patients."
Kristol again:
"For in reality the government isn't going simply to reward 'good"'and penalize 'bad' admissions. It's going to prevent insurance companies from paying for 'unnecessary' admissions and procedures, if those companies want to participate in the government system.

In other words, government bureaucrats are going to deem entire categories of treatment inefficient for all or certain categories of patients, and put those treatments out of bounds for doctors and hospitals."
But we knew that already, didn't we?

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