"Unmanageable" Health Care, Courtesy of BHO

By John W. Lillpop

As leftists in Washington, D.C., prepare to spin and lie their way around the trillion dollar price tag that CBO is likely to assign to their socialized medicine scheme, other, more reasoned voices are being heard.

Sally C. Pipes is president & CEO of the San Francisco-based Pacific Research Institute, a group partially funded by healthcare industry groups. Her latest book is The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care: A Citizen's Guide.

Ms. Pipes authored the article titled, "Unmanageable healthcare in the making" repeated below, in part, and found in its entirety at the following link:


Unmanageable healthcare in the making by Sally C. Pipes

"Candidate Barack Obama showed bold leadership on healthcare. He promised Americans $2,500 in annual healthcare savings and a path to universal coverage. He attacked his Democratic opponent for insisting on an individual mandate to purchase health insurance. He blasted his Republican opponent for seeking to tax employer-provided healthcare.

In office, President Obama has been curiously passive on designing healthcare reform. Although he armed himself with a health czar, Nancy-Ann DeParle, he has ceded the design of his remake of over 16 percent of the U.S. economy to congressional leaders. As a result, it's a strong possibility that some form of then-candidate John McCain's tax on health benefits will fund then-candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton's individual mandate. The $2,500-a-year-savings will prove to be a mere accounting gimmick, a reduction in the rate of increase in future spending, rather than dollars that Americans can actually spend today.

Even more ominous, the main cost-control idea, other than government-imposed price controls, is a return to HMO-style managed care. They aren't calling it this, of course. When mentioned, it's referred to as "coordinated care" or even the welcoming "medical home." There is sometimes discussion of capitation-reimbursing a practicing physician a fixed amount, per patient, rather than paying for work actually done. Every once in a while the virtue of Kaiser or the Veterans Administration arises.

Make no mistake, they are talking about a new version of the old-style staff-model HMOs, in which each person has a dollar amount attached and the primary care doctor has a financial stake in limiting the intensity of services used. In other words, the less expensive care patients receive, the more money physician groups or hospitals make or the government saves. The gatekeeper's job is to keep patients away from the more expensive specialists by steering them to lower-priced alternatives."

Ready to turn you health care over to an HMO, courtesy of BHO?