Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Doctors Opt Out of Medicare, In Other News: Reality Still What It Is

Remember when everyone with the ability to reason said that "having insurance is not the same thing as medical care?" Well, as doctors continue to opt out of Medicare at alarming rates - that fact is playing out in reality.

As costs continue to skyrocket and doctors leave the field in droves while insurance card waving patients find themselves either unable to find doctors willing to treat them or standing in line to be seen by overworked and underpaid hacks, will the Obama-Pelosi socialists finally acknowledge individual rights and the efficacy of markets, and restore freedom, abundance, and innovation to the health care marketplace?

Of course not!

First, they will lobby for more money, i.e., more Medicare taxes to be paid by those who currently do not get Medicare. Second, in an effort to control spiraling costs, any doctor who opts to take Medicare patients will then be subject to even more regulations and restrictions on who, what and how one gets reimbursed by Medicare. Third, at some point, as this system collapses, I predict the federal government will propose making medical licensing contingent upon taking Medicare patients and/or will make it crime for doctors to treat anyone who has not purchased or who is not covered under a government "authorized" plan.

Or, maybe that is already the law. I would not be surprised.

10 comments:

Jenn Casey said...

I completely agree. There will certainly come a time when doctors are required by law (either directly or through holding their medical licenses or other aspects of their business hostage) to accept Medicare/Medicaid patients.

And after THAT happens, then they'll be required to accept a certain % of M/M patients in their practice.

And then that % will creep ever higher and higher, as more and more ppl join the government healthcare roles.

This is inevitable, and I think the "health care reformers" are counting on this.

Doug Reich said...

Jenn,

Great point. I believe this is THE plan. They know this system will collapse and eventually lead to "single payer" which is their ultimate goal.

Mike said...

It's not the law yet.

But it will be.

Chase said...

Once that starts to occur, I'm leaving the medical field along with droves of other physicians. I didn't travel this long road to become a slave to the government.

Doug Reich said...

Chase,

I wouldn't blame you.

I'm sure a black market in medical care would develop. So, both honest and dishonest doctors will be able to offer services in back alleys. The rich will probably travel to various offshore jurisdictions. Then the state will have to resort to ever more violent methods to control the market - as they have done with the drug war. Perhaps they will call it the "greedy doctor war."

Anonymous said...

Doug,
I'm curious if you have ever run across the book "Blade Runner" by MD and scifi writer Alan E. Nourse.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bladerunner

Different rationale for the the rationing - population control vs cost control - and rife with collectivist premises but still an interesting read. Also way too hopeful that the powers that were would actually see reason.

C. Andrew

Doug Reich said...

C. Andrew,

I have not read that book but read the plot summary and sounds about right in essentials. Once the state controls "medical services" it uses them as a vast social engineering scheme. If present trends continue, it's only a matter of time before doctors become the equivalent of public school teachers, administering medical services according to state guidelines. I still can't imagine even the present regime trying to outlaw private medicine altogether, but that is certainly the path they would like to take us down if they could get away with it.

Perplexio said...

If you want to see a strong argument as for why this current set up won't work look at the dental issues of anyone from England. The bad teeth are a product of a system in which the few dentists that still accept patients under Britain's National Health care have far more patients than they can possibly handle. The churn them in and out assembly line style. Few of them are taking new patients because they can't even keep up with the patients they already have. One dentist went into work one day to find a line out his office door and around the block. When he asked his receptionist what was going on, she'd indicated that she'd put out a sign indicating that he was accepting new patients as he had requested her to do.

And that's DENTISTS, can you imagine what this mess is going to turn into in the US with DOCTORS?!?!

The few doctors that will remain accepting medicare will be so overworked they won't be taking new patients and the patients they are taking will suffer from inadequate care due to a new culture in the medical profession of seeing as many patients possible in as short a span of time as possible. There may even be quotas of how many patients/appointments per day each doctor schedules set by the government leading to an even greater decline in the quality of health care in our country.

Perplexio said...

PS: When you speak of social engineering schemes my mind shifts to Stalin. As a student of history I find it interesting that Hitler is so villified for the holocaust but what about Stalin? He actually killed more people than Hitler. His methods were different but the end result was the same. So, is genocide okay if its by intentional starvation instead of by gas chamber?

Doug Reich said...

Perp,

Re the Stalin/Hitler connection. I agree.

Left wing intellectuals rarely discuss the horrors of communism despite the fact that it took the lives of hundreds of millions of people during Stalin's reign, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, etc.

First, they fail to realize that there is no actual distinction in principle between fascism (which they regard as horrific) and communism. Of course, both are species of collectivism and, in fact, Stalin and Hitler originally had signed a pact! They fail to realize that Nazi stands for National Socialism!

Second, for some more from a moral/philosophical perspective, I touched on this issue in 2 previous posts below, "The First Hippies" and "We Would Not Have Killed 1.7 Million People in our Agrarian Utopia"

http://dougreich.blogspot.com/2008/04/first-hippies.html

http://dougreich.blogspot.com/2008/02/we-would-not-have-killed-17-million.html

thanks for the comment.