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Sunday, August 19, 2012

What does Massachusetts do when Romneycare costs too Much

The quick answer is blame the physicians and pass draconian,liberty crushing,contract abrogating, legislation to control medical care costs and physicians ' practices. See here for details from the WSJ regarding a bill passed by the legislature in Massachusetts awaiting the governor's signature.

Here is what the WSJ says regarding the physicians' control commission (my term for it):

An 11-member board known as the Health Policy Commission will use the data[ ED: data that the bill forces physicians to submit] to set and enforce rules to ensure that total Massachusetts health spending, public and private, grows no more than projected gross state product through 2017, and 0.5 percentage points lower thereafter. (And Paul Ryan's Medicare projections are unrealistic?)

No registered provider is allowed to make "any material change to its operations or governance structure," the bill says, without the commission's approval. The commission can also rewrite the terms of provider contracts with insurers and payment levels and methods if they are "deemed to be excessive."

Apparently for physicians to be "allowed " to practice they must submit the required economic data to the commission .

So a physician is not allowed to change the operation structure of his practice (whatever that means) without the approval of this board and so much for the sanctity of contract as this group can "rewrite" the physicians' contracts. This outrage would have a good fit in the descriptions of various frightening government actions found in Atlas Shrugged.

If this does not encourage docs reaching close to retirement age to retire early what would? At least physicians there can move to another state and seek refuge at least for a while until Obamacare costs reaches some levels when something like that is imposed nation wide.

We already have in the wings, awaiting its operational birth according to the ACA timetable,an organization that either already has or is ready to assume the power to control not only Medicare and Medicaid expenditure but all medical expenditures according to some nonsensical projections of what medical costs "should be" versus some fairy dust projection of GDP growth. Well why not, after all central economic planning worked out really well in the 20th century. This panel of Platonic Guardians is known as IPAB. See here for more on that.

Does anyone think we will hear howls of outrageous protests from such organizations as AMA and ACP? Another question- what does his legislative act do to retainer practices?

Addendum and update 8/21/2012 The governor has now signed the bill- so it is law.The tireless Dr. Douglas Peredia has read through the 349 page document and has extracted the key provisions (39 pages).See here.


Andrew_M_Garland said...

"Not allowed to change the operation structure of his practice"

This means simply that the doctor has to continue to treat as many patients in the future as he has in the past.

Adjusted by the average rate of increase/decrease for the median physician for his age, sex, income (5 year), specialty, charitable profile, party affiliation, region, and city size.

At whatever generous payment rates are determined, in accord with what money is available to pay. Doctors have had it great, now they will have to contribute their fair share, or even more.

This isn't slavery. The working proletariat needs the special intelligence assigned to them in the great Rawlsian lottery. They owe it to us.

This isn't slavery.  Doctors can read and write. They will be paid a fair and publicly planned salary. They will not be required to work more than 12 hours each day (8 on Sunday), except possibly in emergencies. They may often live in private housing, if they qualify out of assignment to the residence blocks. Whips will not be used.

Andrew_M_Garland said...

H.L. Mencken: "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under".

I hope the satire in my post above came through. I am ashamed of the Massachusetts government I live under. The new health law is exactly an attempt to enslave doctors for the greater good. It is grasping socialism and theft. MA is attempting to appropriate the skills of doctors and distribute them at the prices and in the manner it decrees.

If the good doctors of MA would tell me where they are going to move to, I'll follow them.