The president suggested yesterday that $200 billion could be saved over the next ten years by trimming federal payments to hospitals. He justified this change by noting broader insurance coverage, so in other words, they’ll make it up in volume. Many hospitals, especially those with large numbers of poor patients say these cuts will be unfair and will only hurt the poor, sick and elderly.
Although congress will sculpt the new laws, the president has influence. Obama has urged the congress to resist powerful lobbies trying to maintain their clout and profits. Like those greedy hospitals, medical technicians and imaging centers (X-rays, MRIs, CT scans), I presume. All in all, the president wants to cut $313 billion in both federal programs over the next decade.
All I can say is, “Wow!” Already being one of the worst reimbursing insurances in the country, Medicare under Obama’s proposal would pay even less? Does anybody have any idea of what the consequences will be? Why don’t we ask The Access to Medical Imaging Coalition, a trade group representing diagnostic imaging centers and their patients,
It would “impair access to diagnostic imaging services and result in patients’ delaying or forgoing life- and cost-savings imaging procedures.”
The group also said Obama’s efficiency estimates were based on a flawed survey. You don’t say…
What else? Some believe that providers–doctors, hospitals, imaging centers–will have to ration services due to the cuts. No kidding–what else do you think will happen? Do you think that doctors will pay for a patient’s lab tests themselves? C’mon! If you have been reading this blog lately, then you know I’ve been saying it repeatedly–health care reform, as proposed by our current government, will do little to improve health care and a lot to diminish its quality. Unfortunate, since quality is the one thing American health care has got going for itself.