Monday, May 16, 2011

Obamacare: Trying to bring a senseless administration to its senses

As Obamacare moves in the direction of implementation there may be hope as legal setbacks, common sense and political courage (or expediency) will hopefully rule the day!

Back in April when the US Supreme Court refused to hear a Virginia request that would have fast-tracked the health-care law, it dealt a blow to the good guys.

The good guys referenced above are those with enough common sense to know that the government, least of all the Obama administration, has any business in trying to overhaul the best healthcare system in the world. To date there have been challenges to Obamacare by about 27 states.

Do opponents of the healthcare reform bill have the opportunity to receive impartial hearings in the courts? Not according to Ezra Klein.

The court system is increasingly less of an arbiter of what is or is not constitutional, but as Ezra Klein says “the legal channel here has become little more than politics by another name. Republicans know it and Democrats know it. Everybody knows it.” (National Review)

So why are there glimmers of hope that Obamacare can be either defunded or reversed altogether?

In this case it has something to do with the setting up of entities known by the Obama administration as "accountable care organizations," but known by the ultimate endusers as impossible to implement and impossible for these same users to succeed participating in it. Accountable care organizations would be the way that doctors would treat and care for Medicare patients.

From the AP:

"... But in an unusual rebuke, an umbrella group representing premier organizations such as the Mayo Clinic wrote the administration Wednesday saying that more than 90 percent of its members would not participate, because the rules as written are so onerous it would be nearly impossible for them to succeed.

"It's not just a simple tweak, it's a significant change that needs to be made," said Donald Fisher, president of the American Medical Group Association, which represents nearly 400 large medical groups around the country providing care for roughly 1 in 3 Americans. Its members, including the Cleveland Clinic, Intermountain Healthcare in Utah, and Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, had been seen as the vanguard for accountable care.

The medical groups say they are worried they will be left holding the bag for losses, that the government has designed things so there is no easy way to tell which patients are part of the program, and that there's no reliable way to adjust for patients who are sicker and require closer follow-up and more expensive treatments..."

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