Medicare spending is growing rapidly, and ObamaCare will do nothing to slow it. The two main reforms, Accountable Care Organizations and the Independent Payment Advisory Board, are poorly constructed and won’t result in significant savings. Only real, market-driven reforms will be able to lower the growth rate.

Details

Congressional Quarterly has produced a July 21 letter from Sen. Harry Reid to Secretary of Health and Human Service Kathleen Sebelius. In it, Reid complains that ObamaCare’s cuts to Medicare will ‘result in a net reduction in payment to Nevada’s hospitals when they are unable to absorb such a cut.’ Furthermore, he questions the method used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to calculate the payments to hospitals, and he is ‘very concerned about potential effects on beneficiary access if this regulation is finalized without adjustment.’ Did Senator Reid finally read the bill, almost four months after passing it and a year after masses of Americans began to demand that Congress do so?”

Details

“Obamacare’s apologists would like Americans to believe they have set in motion a sophisticated and carefully considered plan to slow cost growth in Medicare — and the rest of the health system for that matter. But the truth is that all they have done is put into law a formulaic requirement for deeper price cuts in Medicare. That’s it. Presto! Problem solved! But of course, the problem is not solved. Arbitrary price controls always and everywhere drive out willing suppliers of services. Who will see Medicare patients at 33 cents on the dollar?”

Details

Democrats are trying to convince senior citizens, a key voting demographic in the upcoming mid-term election, that ObamaCare is good for them. Seniors aren’t being persuaded, and still strongly oppose the bill. A significant reason is because of the huge cuts in traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage. “But political observers, even those who have served in Democratic administrations, are skeptical as to whether those benefits can offset seniors’ concerns about reduced government payments to Medicare Advantage.”

Details

“Employers and consumers sorting through their health insurance options may see a bump in their rates next year to account for the potential impact of some of the early elements of the federal health overhaul law, according to some health experts. Jeff Sher, an independent health insurance agent and consultant in San Francisco, said he’s anticipating employee coverage at mid-size companies to go up 13 percent to 15 percent. ‘Then we’re supposed to tack on several percentage points for health reform,’ he said.”

Details

ObamaCare encourages preventive care, which is of dubious value and wastes the valuable time of doctors who are already stretched thin. “Several notable studies of the supply side of preventive care suggest how ObamaCare, as the healthcare legislation is often known, plans to make a difficult situation impossible. In 2003, a team of Duke University researchers first estimated the amount of time required for a primary care physician to provide then-recommended preventive services to an average patient panel… They concluded that the preventive services recommended for the U.S. population back then simply required an unreasonable amount of physician time. The authors emphasized that the large number of screening recommendations for each patient, coupled with the large numbers of patients in a practice, were likely a major reason for the failure to provide these services.”

Details

“To turn a phrase, there ought not to be a law; Obamacare should be booted from the U.S. Code and onto the ash heap of history. Think it can’t be done? Guess again — Congress has reversed course on health care reform before.”

Details

“As businesses starts grappling with health reform, it’s becoming clearer that the Obama plan is predicated on some false assumptions about the health care industry. Three assumptions underlying the legislation are simply wrong, making it hard to see how the plan ever reduces costs. It assumes that health insurers are highly profitable, that doctors and hospitals operate on lean margins, and that the source of change and innovation in health care delivery is going to come from hospitals and medical practices that consolidate into more closed provider networks.”

Details

“Politicians have deliberately written the ObamaCare rules, as they have for all entitlements, so the real costs are disguised and hard for taxpayers to figure out. During the ObamaCare debate, Mr. Foster was honest enough from his Medicare perch to expose the plan’s true costs, and his new Medicare demarche continues this public service. He ought to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, or at least some media attention. But in Barack Obama’s Washington, his honesty will be rewarded with obscurity.”

Details

With ObamaCare unlikely to be repealed until 2013 at the earliest, the promising tactic to defeat it is through defunding implementation. “Should Republicans regain control of Congress, they could theoretically use their new power of the purse to deny Obama the funding needed to administer his signature accomplishment. This prospect is already gaining steam among opponents of the law. The new group DeFundit.org has gotten more than 90 candidates and current members of Congress to sign a pledge supporting stripping ObamaCare of money.”

Details