Paul Ryan on Medicare
Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
Paul Ryan and the Republican House passed the 2012 budget that has been ignored by Harry Reid and the Senate. Harry Reid gets his orders from President Obama. He chose not to consider the Republican House budget. Instead Democrat chose to demonize Paul Ryan.
President Obama seems to be ignoring America’s debt and deficit spending crisis. The Senate has not produced a budget in over 900 days. President Obama has presented numbers to the CBO that would result in decreasing the budget deficit. The numbers presented to the CBO are phony. The Healthcare Reform Act will result in a huge increase in our deficit. It will result in higher taxes.
The traditional media has been very effective in demonizing Paul Ryan’s budget proposal.. The TV ad implying that Paul Ryan is pushing grandma off the cliff is a total lie. The media should fact check before accepting an inaccurate advertisement .
If anything, President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Act will push grandma off the cliff.
Paul Ryan’s explanation of our debt crisis and deficit spending is clear. His budget proposal is also clear.
Paul Ryan questions the reasons President Obama and the Democratic Senate are ignoring the coming disaster.
The healthcare system is inundated with waste, fraud, abuse, a lack of competition and well-directed incentives for the healthcare system to function efficiently.
President Obama’s healthcare reform law is awash with penalties, punishment and rationing as well as waste in the form of more bureaucracy, committees, studies and pilots. Medicare is unsustainable.
The healthcare insurance industry has figured out how to profit from the proposed ACO (Accountable Care Organizations). It means more bureaucracy resulting in higher fees to charge the government for providing administrative services. The result will be higher unsustainable costs for both the government and seniors.
Hospital systems know are not prepared for ACOs. ACO’s are too costly to set up. Most hospital systems information systems are not good enough to provide the data the government wants to evaluation the care given. Administrators managing hospital systems intuitively know that the government will make decisions that will be counter to hospital systems’ vested interests.
Physicians know that hospital systems are going to try to capture as much of their intellectual property as possible and restrict their freedom to make medical judgments. It will be very difficult to create physician hospital alignment under an ACO.
This is a must watch You Tube
Patients know ACO’s are going to restrict access to care, increase their out of pocket expenses, ration care and result in higher taxes and higher deductible. Partial implementation of President Obama’s healthcare act already has resulted in all of the above.
Hospital systems and physicians have not signed up for ACO’s. That resulted in Dr. Don Berwick and CMS revising their ACO final rules. Dr. Berwick is trying to entice hospital systems and physician groups to sign up and form ACO’s.
Dr. Berwick says he is for patients, hospital systems and physicians delivering better care to patients. I believe him. However, he is doing it the wrong way.
The only thing the new rules accomplish is to make forming an ACO more affordable at the front end. Medicare ACO’s continue to be a government controlled system with penalties and punishments to providers.
Patients’ treatments will be determined by a non-elected committee and not their physicians. The committee might make the wrong decision by examining the wrong data.
The most recent example was the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on prostatic specific antigen (PSA).
There was not one urologist on the committee. Another example was the USPSTF task force studying osteoporosis and the use of bone mineral density in men over 70. There was not one Clinical Endocrinologist on the committee.
All anyone has to do is go into any Wal-Mart on a Monday morning. At least 50% of males over 70 years old look like they have lost several inches of height. Each of these men has osteoporosis. They are at risk for hip fractures. Hip fractures at the least with decrease quality of life. At most, long hospitalization and death. Hip fractures can be prevented if treated properly.
Medicare will not pay for these men to have a bone density for the diagnosis of osteoporosis. This leads me to the definition of quality medical care.
The next step would be to study the number of hip fractures in men over 70 years old and the cost of treatment of these fractures. An evaluation of the quality of life after fracture must be evaluated to get an accurate assessment of the cost effectiveness of doing bone mineral density testing.
Medical care systems must be a patient centered and controlled. It must not be a government centered and controlled system. This is the only way to develop a cost efficient system. Dr. Berwick’s way will only increase the cost to the government. He will spend money the government does not have.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.