On Medicare Reimbursement Regulation Overload:
“Never underestimate the brilliance of our federal bureaucracy.
“The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that it must delay implementation of new reimbursement codes for Medicare. Those new regulations would have increased the total number of reimbursement codes from the current 18,000 to more than 140,000 separate codes. The delay will undoubtedly come as a relief for physicians who will have additional time to try to understand the bureaucratic complexity of rules that, for example, apply 36 different codes for treating a snake bite, depending on the type of snake, its geographical region, and whether the incident was accidental, intentional self-harm, assault, or undetermined. The new codes also thoroughly differentiate between nine different types of hang-gliding injuries, four different types of alligator attacks, and the important difference between injuries sustained by walking into a wall and those resulting from walking into a lamppost.
“And Democrats wonder why Americans still resist having the government control our health care?”
Unintened consequences. Or perhaps intended as part of the progressive goal to have universal government run healthcare.
WSJ REVIEW & OUTLOOK JUNE 23, 2011
Shutting Up McKinsey
The White House vilifies a company for reporting health-care reality.
The White House routinely tries to intimidate its health-care critics, but the campaign against McKinsey & Co. is something else. The management consultants attempted to find out how U.S. business will respond to the government restructuring of 17.3% of the economy, Democrats don’t like the results, and so McKinsey must pay with its reputation.
The firm’s sin was to canvass some 1,300 companies and report that nearly a third will “definitely” or “probably” stop offering insurance to employees after 2014, dumping them instead into ObamaCare’s subsidized exchanges. McKinsey conducted the survey as part of its routine market research.
Democrats immediately blasted the results, attacked McKinsey’s integrity and demanded that it release its methodology and full responses. Nancy-Ann DeParle, the deputy chief of staff who is running ObamaCare from the White House, was withering. Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus chimed in with questions like “Who are your biggest clients? Do you expect McKinsey & Co. to benefit financially from the results of this survey?”
So this week McKinsey opened its books, and what do you know, the survey was rigorous. Respondents were a representative cross-section of businesses of many sizes and across industries and regions, and the questions were impartial.
Ms. DeParle and others claimed vindication because McKinsey conceded it was not a “predictive economic analysis,” while forecasters like the Congressional Budget Office think the law will have little effect on employer coverage. In other words, an analysis of business attitudes in the real world is less credible than CBO’s macroeconomic models that depend on undisclosed assumptions. These are the same models that claim the stimulus “created or saved” millions of jobs.
The furor says less about McKinsey than about the politically damaging reality of the new law. As the McKinsey survey shows in detail, many businesses may be better off if they drop coverage and pay workers slightly more to compensate for fewer benefits, along with paying the new penalty for not providing insurance. Many workers earning up to $102,000 may also be better off because the ObamaCare subsidies are so much larger than the current tax break for employer coverage.
As more people partake of “free” health care, taxpayer costs will explode. Consumers will gradually lose the choice and quality of private insurance for the politically mandated policies that will be offered in most exchanges. Increasing the share of the insurance market operating under Washington command and control will increase costs and distortions in the health markets.
McKinsey’s study merely echoes what economist Doug Holz-Eakin has also been shouting from the rafters about ObamaCare’s impact on private coverage. Ditto for Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institute. Is that left-leaning outfit now a GOP mouthpiece too? McKinsey isn’t known for its partisan sympathies, and most top-drawer consulting firms deliberately avoid the political fray. Clients want intelligence, not controversy.
The White House method is nonetheless to assail even disinterested analysts as dishonest or motivated by bad faith, and the habit is especially pronounced against businesses that have something to lose. Think of the public trashing of the insurers WellPoint and Humana for accurately describing how costs will soar under the new entitlement, or the companies like AT&T and Verizon that ObamaCare forced to take huge writedowns last year.
The fact that the White House feels it must vilify businesses for telling the truth about ObamaCare shows just how destructive the law really is.
As government forces reduced competition and increased government mandated coverages (reducing personal choices), that same government requires an enormous mountain of government administrative overhead – and it is applied to every step/phase/procedure. Of course the cost for actual care is going to increase! Government over regulation always generates more cost, fewer options, and inconvenient shortages What we end up with is “political” health care. As we observe in socialists societies around the world, care will be rationed.. and what were formerly personal decisions between a care provider and the patient, that personal and private relationship will be replaced with a “panel” of governement appointed “experts”, making blanket decisions for care. Variables will be ignored. Choices denied. Some would describe some of these panels as “death panels”. As we individuals give up our freedom to choose, and the STATE becomes to the sole decider for picking winners in matters of health care, we will observe the forces of tyranny come to dominate our society. The individual rights will become secondary to the “well organized” group.. the “democatic” system that some describe as mob rule. This way, those in political positions broker their power to the “higest bidder”, and cause political opponents to pick over the left overs.
Alternatives to the Obama socialist system of “health reform” exist. Good alternatives. But government elites want to station themselves between the health consumer and the service providers.. as a means of political allocation. Such behavior invites all sorts of hanky panky between the regulators and the regulated.. Big business and Big Government are, and have always been , cozy bed partners. Case in point.. AARP.
Former NHS director dies after operation is canceled four times at her own hospital
By Daily Mail Reporter
Former Mayor of Chelmsford Margaret Hutchon was waiting for a stomach op
A former NHS director died after waiting for nine months for an operation – at her own hospital.
Margaret Hutchon, a former mayor, had been waiting since last June for a follow-up stomach operation at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.
But her appointments to go under the knife were canceled four times and she barely regained consciousness after finally having surgery.
Her devastated husband, Jim, is now demanding answers from Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust – the organization where his wife had served as a non-executive member of the board of directors.
He said: ‘I don’t really know why she died. I did not get a reason from the hospital. We all want to know for closure. She got weaker and weaker as she waited and operations were put off.’
Mr Hutchon, of Great Baddow, Essex, said his wife, 72, had initially undergone major stomach surgery last June but the follow up procedures were repeatedly abandoned.
The former mayor remained at the hospital for months but her family feared she was becoming institutionalized and decided to bring her home until an operation was a certainty.
Margaret Hutchon waited nine months for an operation at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford where she was a non-executive director
Mr Hutchon, 71, said: ‘The case has been referred to the coroner because of the long time it has taken. In some ways, I would like the coroner to order a post mortem.’
The pensioner said his wife had been left very weak before her operation because she had been unable to take in nutrients.
‘From July to October there was talk of another operation and then between November and December there were three or four postponements and she was becoming so institutionalized we decided to get her home until an operation was certain.
‘It was a blessing because although neither of is could have guessed it – it gave us a last month together.
‘Nevertheless, she was unable to take proper nourishment and went into the operation on the better side of a low state – she was very weak.’
Mrs Hutchon was well known and respected after serving in local government for the past 30 years and she became mayor of Chelmsford in 2006.
Mike Mackrory, a fellow Liberal Democrat councilor, said: We were all stunned to hear she had died after the operation. There were constant delays she had to endure before surgery.
‘We were given the very sad news and as word spread it threw a pall over the civic dinner. Margaret was much loved and respected in this town.’
A spokesman for Broomfield Hospital said it could not comment on individual cases.
Jeff Kropf 6-9:00am M-F AM 1360 KUIK
Victoria Taft 11am-3:00pm M-F AM 860 KPAM
Mark Levin 3-6:00pm M-F AM 970 KCMD
Watch C-SPAN 1 and 2 to keep informed on national and international issues! “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival.”
Malkin: The Weiner Waiver Wormhole
New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner toasted the one-year anniversary of Obamacare this week — and accidentally spilled his champagne glass all over the disastrous, one-size-fits-all mandate. Ostensibly one of the federal health care law’s staunchest defenders, Weiner exposed its ultimate folly by pushing for a special cost-saving regulatory exemption for New York City.
If it’s good for the city Weiner wants to be mayor of, why not for each and every individual American and American business that wants to be free of Obamacare’s shackles?
Weiner joins a bevy of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s” loudest cheerleaders — unions, foundations and left-leaning corporations — in clamoring for more waivers for favors. (The list of federal waiver recipients now tops 1,000, covering more than 2.6 million workers.) And he follows a gaggle of health care takeover-promoting Democrats maneuvering on Capitol Hill for get-out-of-Obamacare loopholes.
At a speech before the George Soros-supported Center for American Progress, as reported by Politico.com, Weiner revealed that he’s “in the process now of trying to see if we can take (President Barack Obama) up on” a favor waiver and is “taking a look at all of the money we spend in Medicaid and Medicare and maybe New York City can come up with a better plan.” Echoing all the Republican critics of Obamacare who objected to top-down rules that override local variations in health care expenditures, Weiner explained: “I’m just looking internally to whether the city can save money and have more control over its own destiny.”
More local control over taxpayers’ destiny, eh? Give that man a “Hands Off My Health Care” sign, a Gadsden flag and a tea party membership card ASAP!
I kid, of course. The ultimate agenda of many waiver-seekers is to create a wormhole path to even more radical restructuring of the health system. Weiner has brazenly called for a single-payer “public option” to replace Obamacare should it be repealed. Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon has also crusaded for more Kabuki “flexibility” in the law through a bipartisan state waiver proposal.
But as The Heritage Foundation noted, the plan “simply changes a date on an existing ‘state innovation’ provision of Obamacare from 2017 to 2014 — still well after the federal Obamacare infrastructure has been cemented in place.” And it is essentially “a back-door vehicle for progressive states to enact the ‘public option’ and speed up the establishment of a single-payer system for health care.” White House health care advisers Nancy-Ann DeParle and Stephanie Cutter further reinforced in a conference call to liberal advocates that the bill would help states implement single-payer health care plans, such as those tested in Connecticut and Vermont.
Weiner argues that the waiver process dispels “this notion that the government is shoving the bill down people’s throats.” But only the politically connected, deep-pocketed, lawyered-up and Beltway-savvy can apply. And the White House refuses to shed more light on its decision-making process. Obama’s selective favor waivers simply underscore the notion that unaccountable regulatory bureaucrats are presiding over government by the cronies, for the cronies and of the cronies.
Real control over our destinies means flexibility and choice for all. Repeal is the ultimate democratic waiver.
Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010).
COPYRIGHT 2011 CREATORS.COM
Weiner is the poster boy for the worst of the worst kind of politician.. imposing odious, expensive, jarring regulation on Americans.. while insisting on “waivers” for his own. Why do we put up with this nonsense?