FROM BEHIND THE WSJ PAYWALL
OPINION REVIEW & OUTLOOK
ObamaCare’s Death Payments
A program to reduce hospital admissions may have led to more deaths.
By The Editorial Board
Nov. 23, 2017 2:30 p.m. ET
*** begin quote ***
ObamaCare has caused hard-to-quantify economic damage, but some of the law’s regulations may be lethal—literally. Consider a Medicare hospital payment initiative, which a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Cardiology suggests may have contributed to an increase in deaths.
Readers are likely familiar with ObamaCare’s mandate and subsidies to impel individuals to obtain health insurance. But the law also included monetary incentives and penalties aimed at inducing changes in health-care delivery and spending reductions. The government rolled out these payment models nationally without careful study, and they are having unintended side effects.
A case in point is the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, which penalizes hospitals with above-average readmissions for Medicare patients. Readmissions are expensive, and the goal of the penalties is to encourage providers to take measures that reduce repeat hospitalizations—for instance, providing patients with clearer discharge instructions and coordinating with primary-care physicians.
*** and ***
Hospitals with above-average readmissions are also more likely to care for low-income patients and deal with complicated medical cases. They are usually financially strapped due to low Medicaid reimbursements, and the ObamaCare penalties may make it even harder to deliver quality care.
ObamaCare effectively enrolled Medicare patients and hospitals without their consent in a mandatory policy experiment—you’ll be better off, trust us—but then neglected to evaluate the adverse effects. A drug trial with the same results would have been shut down long ago.
*** end quote ***
Why do we let politicians and bureaucrats dabble in “health”, “health care”, “health care insurance”, or something else?
It’s all about control of people and resources.
Let’s go back to a free market.
Surely the public and the poor will be better served.
Greed is good; except when the consumer is not in control.
# – # – # – # – #