Department of Unintended Consequences

In the face of greatly increased demand for services, providers are likely to charge higher fees or take patients with better-paying private insurance over Medicaid recipients, "exacerbating existing access problems" in that program, according to the report from Richard S. Foster of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Here is much more.  As I understand the broader story, if you seriously analyze the effect of the current reform package on Medicare and Medicaid, the basic story of how the whole thing will work falls apart.  Here is a further point:

In its most recent analysis of the House bill, the CBO noted that Medicare spending per beneficiary would have to grow at roughly half the rate it has over the past two decades to meet the measure's savings targets, a dramatic reduction that many budget and health policy experts consider unrealistic.

That's for a high-voting group which is growing in numbers.  And this:

The report, requested by House Republicans, found that Medicare cuts contained in the health package approved by the House on Nov. 7 are likely to prove so costly to hospitals and nursing homes that they could stop taking Medicare altogether.

The laws of economics have not been repealed.  I know fully well how hard it is politically, but until the supply side (and I mean the supply of services, not health insurance) is more competitive, the proposed reforms will make the core problems of U.S. health care worse not better.


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