I had written about the so-called doc-fix before, which is the problem of doctors being underpaid by the government for things like Medicare and Medicaid when they provide services to patients. Obama chose not to “fix” these low reimbursements in his health care bill, in order to hide the true costs of socializing medicine. But he has a plan now to fix the problem of government-run medicine not reimbursing doctors adequately.
And it isn’t what you might think.
Conservatives were outraged by the chicanery of separating physician payment increases from the health care reform (that’s three lies for the price of one) bill Congress recently rammed through. The “doc fix” was separate legislation so that physician payments could be increased without adding to the total cost of the main bill, so that Democrats could dishonestly claim the bill reduced the deficit. Now, however, we are seeing the real “doc fix.”
Some Idaho orthopedists grew weary of the low reimbursement rates the government gave them for caring for worker’s comp patients. So they got together and agreed not to treat those patients anymore. They hoped that their boycott would force the Idaho Industrial Commission to increase the fee schedule – their payments. While they were at it, they decided to stop working with Blue Cross of Idaho – also a notorious underpayer – until a better deal could be negotiated. Unions behave this way all the time, and it’s often very effective.
In a similar case in Colorado last February, the Federal Trade Commission stepped in and charged the doctors with price-fixing.
Those doctors lost, and if they want to continue to work as physicians, they will do so at the prices set by the government.
Now the Obama administration has stepped it up a notch. The FTC only deals with civil complaints. In order to deal with the Idaho orthopedists, Obama sent in Eric Holder and the Justice Department, which is at liberty to file criminal charges. You see, those Idaho orthopedists collectively agreeing that they had enough and weren’t going to take it anymore, were actually engaged in two antitrust conspiracies.
Read the rest. This is another first class post by Laura, and a great find by ECM. (Laura also sides with me on women taking responsibility for their own actions, which is why men like her)
So, it sounds like the Obama administration is heading towards Canada’s system where the private practice of medicine is a criminal offense. Doctors will not be able to set prices for their services. A patient giving money directly to a doctor, without government approval of the price (price controls), will become illegal. That’s the way that socialists roll.They love to fix prices.
And do you know what happens when doctors make less money than government clerks but have to work 80 hour weeks? That’s right – you have a shortage of doctors! Just like in Canada! And do you know what happens when there is a shortage of doctors? That’s right – you pay for the privilege of dying on a waiting list. (Unless you want an abortion, IVF or a sex change, I guess – because that’s politically correct in Canada)
This is why there are waiting lists in every country that has tried socialized medicine. Fewer doctors means fewer claims to the government – rationing. It’s the real way that government cuts costs. Well, that and euthanasia. Once government starts to regulate the practice of medicine, and to fix prices, you choke off the supply. And then you have to start killing people to avoid bankrupting the system, without or without their consent.