Furthermore, there was no hammering "for failure to include tort reform."
“I read the whole article and never detected even one hammer blow upon the Obamacare carcus!
“Furthermore, there was no hammering ‘for failure to include tort reform.’”
You missed the following on page 3 of the article:
“When Obamacare was being debated, Republicans pushed this kind of commonsense malpractice-tort reform. But the stranglehold that plaintiffs lawyers have traditionally had on Democrats prevailed, and neither a safe-harbor provision nor any other malpractice reform was included.”
You missed the following on page 4 of the article:
“Steve H. was about to run up against a seemingly irrelevant footnote in millions of Americans insurance policies: the limit, sometimes annual or sometimes over a lifetime, on what the insurer has to pay out for a patients claims. Under Obamacare, those limits will not be allowed in most health-insurance policies after 2013. That might help people like Steve H. but is also one of the reasons premiums are going to skyrocket under Obamacare.”
You missed the following on page 7 of the article:
“Millions of plans have annual payout limits, though the more typical plans purchased by employers usually set those limits at $500,000 or $750,000 which can also quickly be consumed by a catastrophic illness. For that reason, Obamacare prohibited lifetime limits on any policies sold after the law passed and phases out all annual dollar limits by 2014. That will protect people like Scott and Rebecca, but it will also make everyones premiums dramatically higher, because insurance companies risk much more when there is no cap on their exposure.”
“But Obamacare does little to attack the costs that overwhelmed Scott and Rebecca. There is nothing, for example, that addresses what may be the most surprising sinkhole the seemingly routine blood, urine and other laboratory tests for which Scott was charged $132,000, or more than $4,000 a day.”
You missed the following on page 8 of the article:
“Similarly, when Congress passed Part D of Medicare in 2003, giving seniors coverage for prescription drugs, Congress prohibited Medicare from negotiating.
“Nor can Medicare get involved in deciding that a drug may be a waste of money. In medical circles, this is known as the comparative-effectiveness debate, which nearly derailed the entire Obamacare effort in 2009.
“Doctors and other health care reformers behind the comparative-effectiveness movement make a simple argument: Suppose that after exhaustive research, cancer drug A, which costs $300 a dose, is found to be just as effective as or more effective than drug B, which costs $3,000. Shouldnt the person or entity paying the bill, e.g. Medicare, be able to decide that it will pay for drug A but not drug B? Not according to a law passed by Congress in 2003 that requires Medicare to reimburse patients (again, at average sales price plus 6%) for any cancer drug approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration. Most states require insurance companies to do the same thing.
“With that escalating bill in mind, Bach was among the policy experts pushing for provisions in Obamacare to establish a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to expand comparative-effectiveness research efforts. Through painstaking research, doctors would try to determine the comparative effectiveness not only of drugs but also of procedures like CT scans.
“However, after all the provisions spelling out elaborate research and review processes were embedded in the draft law, Congress jumped in and added eight provisions that restrict how the research can be used. The prime restriction: Findings shall not be construed as mandates for practice guidelines, coverage recommendations, payment, or policy recommendations.
“With those 14 words, the work of Bach and his colleagues was undone. And costs remain unchecked.”
You missed to following on page 11 of the article:
“The hospitals continuing consolidation of both lab work and doctors practices is one reason that trying to cut the deficit by simply lowering the fees Medicare and Medicaid pay to hospitals will not work. It will only cause the hospitals to shift the costs to non-Medicare patients in order to maintain profits which they will be able to do because of their increasing leverage in their markets over insurers. Insurance premiums will therefore go up which in turn will drive the deficit back up, because the subsidies on insurance premiums that Obamacare will soon offer to those who cannot afford them will have to go up.”
“None of these suggestions will come as a revelation to the policy experts who put together Obamacare or to those before them who pushed health care reform for decades. They know what the core problem is lopsided pricing and outsize profits in a market that doesnt work. Yet there is little in Obamacare that addresses that core issue or jeopardizes the paydays of those thriving in that marketplace. In fact, by bringing so many new customers into that market by mandating that they get health insurance and then providing taxpayer support to pay their insurance premiums, Obamacare enriches them. That, of course, is why the bill was able to get through Congress.”
“Finally, we should embarrass Democrats into stopping their fight against medical-malpractice reform and instead provide safe-harbor defenses for doctors so they dont have to order a CT scan whenever, as one hospital administrator put it, someone in the emergency room says the word head.
“Trial lawyers who make their bread and butter from civil suits have been the Democrats biggest financial backer for decades. Republicans are right when they argue that tort reform is overdue. Eliminating the rationale or excuse for all the extra doctor exams, lab tests and use of CT scans and MRIs could cut tens of billions of dollars a year while drastically cutting what hospitals and doctors spend on malpractice insurance and pass along to patients.”