Most of us know of the Law of Unintended Consequences (“let’s just bring a few rabbits into Australia“). The health care bill is certain to be a future textbook case.
National Public Radio, traditionally a liberal-leaning group, has come out with distinct misgivings about the Bill (or Bills, whatever they may be): NPR:
If the health care bill passes, Democrats will celebrate it as a monumental victory for the uninsured. The office of Richard Foster, chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, estimates that the Senate bill … would reduce the number of people without health insurance by 34 million as of 2019. However, more than half (18 million) of those 34 million newly insured would be primary Medicaid beneficiaries. In other words, most of the gains would be achieved through a program that has consistently failed patients, health-care providers, and taxpayers. Meanwhile, the program’s deep structural flaws would remain uncorrected.
… Medicaid, which was enacted in 1965 as a federal-state initiative to serve the health needs of the poor, is staggeringly complex,…
Putting Medicaid on steroids is not real reform.
Right now, many providers are woefully underpaid by Medicaid, and thus are reluctant to accept patients enrolled in the program. In a 2008 survey by the Center for Studying Health System Change, only 52.6 percent of physicians said they were accepting all or most of the new Medicaid patients who approached them, while 28.2 percent said they were not accepting any new Medicaid patients.
A parade of independent studies shows that the legislation before Congress fails to achieve its most basic goals and would create an avalanche of unintended consequences throughout the rest of the health sector and economy.
The Congressional Budget Office says health-insurance premiums would continue their steady upward climb under the Reid bill. Families purchasing insurance in the individual market would see an increase of $2,100 in the year 2016, over and above increases they already would be facing as health-insurance premiums continued to rise at about twice the rate of general inflation.
PricewaterhouseCoopers released a study, commissioned by America’s Health Insurance Plans, that showed the cost of a family plan in 2019 would be $4,000 a year higher if reform passed.
Rick Foster makes the same point: A series of accounting maneuvers makes it appear that Medicare’s Part A trust fund would be in better shape under the Reid bill, but that’s not so. “In practice, the improved Part A financing cannot be simultaneously used to finance other Federal outlays (such as the coverage expansion under [the Reid bill]) and to extend the trust fund,” Foster writes. Foster also says that making the cuts to Medicare that Reid’s bill requires would “represent an exceedingly difficult challenge.”
Doctors and hospitals would become insolvent.
Some of the current Health Care Bill’s provisions do not go into effect immediately. Those are delayed a few years.
The costs would therefore appear to be “invisible” until they are seen later. Result is that some changes are distant from the dissent of the people going on right now in 2010. All would appear to be “Not so bad after all.” They would reflect on future administrations rather than the current administration which produced them.