Obamacare Inhibits Medical Technology; Top-Down Health Care Rationing Likely to Cost Hundreds of Billions

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 10, 2012 | Go to article overview

Obamacare Inhibits Medical Technology; Top-Down Health Care Rationing Likely to Cost Hundreds of Billions


Byline: Benjamin Zycher, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Democracy is the art of wealth redistribution, a hard reality that creates losers as a necessary byproduct of policymaking. Taxing those other guys behind the tree, in brief, arouses their opposition, and as much as bureaucrats and politicians may enjoy bossing people around, the blowback can be intense.

Obamacare is coercion par excellence, a top-down exercise in central planning guaranteed to create vast numbers of enemies. At some point, federal officials face overwhelming incentives to shift authority - that is, the political heat - elsewhere. Witness, for example, the recent announcement that the list of medical services to be covered under Obamacare will be delineated by the individual states rather than the Beltway. Left unexplained is the question of why, if this partial decentralization is good, full decentralization to market forces would not be better.

Never mind. Let us consider instead the far-larger exercise within Obamacare to avoid responsibility: The law establishes a comparative effectiveness review (CER) process to conduct research to provide information about the best available evidence to help patients and their health care providers make more informed decisions.

Yes, we're the federal government and we're here to help you. Since government cannot pay for all medical services demanded, rationing of one sort or another cannot be avoided in a world of finite resources, regardless of all the mindless rhetoric about covering the uninsured. Expensive treatments will not be allowed; that is the essence of top-down cost control.

The Beltway, though, does not have patients. Instead, it has interest groups engaged in a long twilight struggle over shares of the federal budget pie. Less for one group means more for others, and even modest reductions in the huge federal health care budget are tempting for other constituencies.

In other words, there can be no such thing as unpoliticized science inside the Beltway. It is inevitable that political pressures will lead policymakers to use the findings yielded by CER analyses to influence decisions on coverage, reimbursement or incentives within Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health care programs.

This will be bad enough for patients in the here and now. Instead, consider the effects on future investment in new and improved medical technologies, examples of which are pharmaceuticals and medical devices and equipment. No one can know in advance either how CER analyses of interest will turn out or how the findings will be used. Indeed, the uncertainties are enormous. The findings of statistical analyses are driven in substantial part by the design of the underlying studies. Such studies always will conflict to some degree, introducing considerable subjectivity into the process of deriving conclusions from the CER process. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Obamacare Inhibits Medical Technology; Top-Down Health Care Rationing Likely to Cost Hundreds of Billions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.