26th November 2012
First and foremost, watch out for the reemergence of a “public option” likely marketed by Democrats as “Medicare for all”, as Democrats revive their already stated original goal of forging a single payer, wholly government-controlled system. We know that President Obama wants it. In June 2003, Obama said “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer health care program … a single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see.” And we know that Senator Max Baucus, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee during crafting of the ACA and its ramming through Congress by Democrats, admitted in February 2009 that “There may come a time when we can push for single-payer. At this time, it’s not going to get to first base in Congress,” a sentiment echoed by then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who said “For 30 years I have supported a single payer plan, but our next best choice is to support an exchange and a public option.” There is no secret about the ultimate goal of the president and leading Democrats.
Indeed, there is not.
Second, or perhaps in advance of single payer legislation, watch for the federal government to restrict doctors from practicing, or possibly even criminalize them, unless they accept all patients with insurance paying government-defined rates for medical tests and treatments. We know that ObamaCare and its Independent Payment Advisory Board, IPAB, will force prices for medical services lower and lower by direct design, so that by 2019, payments for Medicare will be even lower than Medicaid. While some doctors will swallow government-dictated low reimbursements, undoubtedly more and more physicians will refuse to see patients under such health plans – easy to foresee, since this has already happened to Medicaid and Medicare patients across the country. But this presumably will not be tolerated by HHS Secretary Sebelius and our President. It is not at all unimaginable that the federal government will soon tie all medical licensure to accepting the new edicts, as has already been contemplated in Massachusetts by state legislators.
There will be doctors willing to operate under this regime, even as there were in Britain with the introduction of the National Health Service. But service will become as crappy as has already happened in Britain (and Canada), and there won’t be a U.S. for people to go to for high-quality care any more.