ObamaCare – another fix-that-backfires

BackfireGun

Systems thinkers frequently use the phrase fix-that-backfires. It means a solution to a problem that makes the problem worse. ObamaCare is a perfect example.

At the start of his stay in the White House, President Obama identified three critical problems in U.S. healthcare.
1) Excessive cost and healthcare’s negative impact on our economy-in-recession
2) Tens of millions without health insurance
3) Wide variability in the quality of health care outcomes

As Congress is controlled by the President’s party, one can properly label the forthcoming Healthcare Reform Bill – which does not reform healthcare – as ObamaCare.

One could reasonably assume that ObamaCare would fix the problems identified by President Obama. That assumption will, as they say, make an “ASS out of U and ME.” Congress is about to pass another classic “fix-that-backfires.”

Excessive Cost
According to the GAO and other reliable sources, ObamaCare will add $1 trillion to the deficit. Worse, taxes (penalties) will be imposed on businesses that will reduce their productivity and thus reduces tax revenues. These consequences address the excessive cost how?

As has been described here before and just recently emphasized on Reuters the biggest useless cost item in the entire healthcare budget is the bureaucracy. What effect will ObamaCare have on this “waste in the middle?” It will further increase it. Now that’s what they call a “fix-that-backfires!”

Quality issues
The Administration has proposed billions to support cost/effectiveness studies in health care. While I have concerns that they may be studying ‘effects’ we do not want, having cost/effect data is a very good idea. However, there is no intention to study much less improve cost/effectiveness in the management or regulation of healthcare.

What is the cost/benefit ratio for HIPAA? Answer: no one knows, least of all the people who passed the legislation. Does anyone care if, by tightening security measures, HIPAA reduces quality and increases errors? Of course WE care but apparently, those in power do not. Cost/effectiveness obligations should apply not only to doctors but also to managers and regulators.

Millions without health insurance
What we all want is universal health coverage, right? Wrong. What we want is health care. Insurance coverage is one way – a very costly and ineffective way – to finance that care.

As ObamaCare cuts reimbursement to providers (their newspeak for “cutting costs”), it reduces the availability of medical practitioners. Providers who accept the Government’s “reduced rates” will go broke just as fast as those who now accept MediCare. Without doctors or hospitals, all the insurance coverage in the world won’t get you care.

REAL reform is needed.
There is a tendency to believe that people who oppose ObamaCare such as this writer oppose reform of healthcare. Actually, it is the opposite. I (we) want real reform not a political sham. We want a solution that makes things better, not worse.

We oppose ObamaCare because we want a fix that fixes, not a fix-that-backfires.

System MD

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