Scott Gottlieb, M.D., has published an article in Forbes about the Medicare “Doc Fix”bill being negotiated in Congress now. According to Gottlieb, “If this “doc fix” passes in its current form, it will represent a profound and enduring triumph of Obamacare’s creeping regulation of the American practice of medicine.” Moreover, it represents a lost opportunity to make structural changes to Medicare to keep solvent long-term and restore freeom for seniors in healthcare.
Some measures in the bill help to reduce the costs of Medicare, such as means-testing. This – while arguably unfair for a program which confiscates contributions from paychecks, practically forces participation, and punishes success – may indeed be necessary to rescue the program for future seniors. Such a rescue is ironically necessitated by decades-long mismanagement of Medicare by the federal government.
However, the proposal also incorporates provisions favored by Obamacare supporters. It rewards consolidation of doctors into Accountable Care Organizations, where doctors become employees of large organizations and patients suffer reduced choice and access. As Gottlieb states, “If the new measures pass intact, they will mark the moment that we cast a permanent end to the private practice of medicine.”
Furthermore, according to this scheme, doctors get judged based on the ‘value’ of their services – ‘value’ as defined by the government, not by welfare of the patient. “It puts remote government agencies in charge of setting up complex clinical metrics that every doctor must adhere to,” states Gottlieb. In other words – more government control over your care.
Conservatives in Congress shuold push for a short-term extension of the current doc fix so that they can fight for a better bill that increases, not decreases, doctor-patient independence.
Please read the Forbes article here:
(Meanwhile, Heritage, CRFB and others express deep concerns about the cost of this “