Audits and investigations into the effects of ObamaCare from congressional committees, government auditors, advocacy groups, and others.
“One element of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is the advancement of ‘comparative effectiveness research’ (CER). Intended to compare available treatment options, CER can benefit patients if used for informational purposes only, but it could also be harmful in practice. The expansion of the Medicare bureaucracy under the PPACA will allow the use of CER for more government micromanagement of personal medical decision making—hurting patients, doctors, and the practice of medicine.”
“In time, high taxes, large subsidies, and extensive mandatory contractual terms in tandem could well drive most private plans out of business… Where and when the tipping point comes, no one can say in advance, and perhaps some tenacious and well-run private plans may ultimately survive. But in the end, our gloomy prediction is that in the absence of a major change in course, a regulatory cascade will first force some plans to fail, after which other private plans will topple like tenpins.”
“As many as 20 million Americans could lose their employer-provided coverage because of President Obama’s healthcare reform law, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in a new report Thursday.
The figure represents the worst-case scenario, CBO says, and the law could just as well increase the number of people with employer-based coverage by 3 million in 2019.”
“The American public doesn’t support Obamacare, and a new survey shows that doctors have an even worse opinion. No one has a better grasp on the state of the health care system than physicians, and according to the Doctors Company survey, 60 percent of them believe that Obamacare will have a negative impact on overall patient care. This survey is consistent with the findings of another doctor survey taken in October 2010, which also showed doctors’ lack of confidence in Obamacare.”
“The IPAB was created by an act of the last Congress and is supposed to meet an arbitrary spending target that is not feasible without structural changes in Medicare and the health care delivery system. The IPAB has one tool—price controls—to hit the same kind of fiscal target that the SGR has. If the board requires politically unacceptable payment cuts, a future Congress will neutralize IPAB just as it has neutralized the SGR.”
“The article examined colonoscopy, something which many politicians believe in so fervently as preventive care that they included in ObamaCare a provision that waived the Medicare co-pay for the procedure. That will likely result in an increased use of colonoscopy. The article in the NEJM is particularly useful in shedding some light on whether that policy change will be worth it from a dollars-and-cents perspective. The article examined 2,602 patients who had advanced adenomas (large polyps, usually close to 10 millimeters in size) removed via colonoscopy. In the end, the authors estimated that it saved about 13 people from dying of colon cancer.”
“ObamaCare will repeat the mistake when it enrolls about 16 million new people in Medicaid. Many will be converting from private coverage that pays physicians more than Medicaid pays (even with the somewhat higher rates for two years). The net result: millions of patients will have less access to care than they had before the reform.”
“The Senate is under increasing pressure to bring up legislation repealing a key part of President Obama’s healthcare law. A House subpanel on Wednesday easily approved a measure to repeal a Medicare cost-cutting panel derided by Republicans as a ‘rationing board.’ Two Democrats — including the panel’s ranking member — crossed the aisle and joined Republicans in voting to nix the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The lopsided 17-5 vote underscored the bipartisan support for repealing the board, which Obama has made the centerpiece of his efforts to reduce Medicare spending. It also provided evidence the legislation could have a shot at passing the Senate.”
“Offended by President Obama’s decision to force health insurers to pay for contraception and surgical sterilization? It gets worse: In the future, thanks to ObamaCare, the government will issue such health edicts on a routine basis—and largely insulated from public view. This goes beyond contraception to cancer screenings, the use of common drugs like aspirin, and much more. Under ObamaCare, a single committee—the United States Preventative Services Task Force—is empowered to evaluate preventive health services and decide which will be covered by health-insurance plans.”
“The greatest threat to the health-care overhaul might not be the Supreme Court, which is scheduled to hear challenges to the law next month. Or the shifting alliances of an election year. In the end, it’s more likely to be a lack of medical providers. If the law succeeds in extending health insurance to 32 million more Americans, there won’t be enough doctors to see them. In fact, the anticipated shortfall of primary-care providers, by 2015, is staggering: 29,800.”