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Thursday, October 22, 2009

CMS Analyzes the House Health Care Bill

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently analyzed the House bill 3200 for the effect of the bill on health care costs. Here's the conclusion.

The nation's medical costs will keep spiraling upward even faster than they are now under Democratic legislation pending in the House, a report from government economic experts concluded Wednesday.

Republicans said the report is a warning sign that health care legislation is likely to fall short of President Barack Obama's goal of "bending the cost curve" by slowing torrid rates of medical inflation.

This report is important mainly because it comes from the Obama administration itself. Unlike the analysis of Price Waterhouse Coopers, no one can say the conclusions were done because the parties analyzing had a conflict. They didn't. Here is the analysis for why health care costs would increase even more under the House bill.

The additional demand for health services could be difficult to meet initially with existing health provider resources and could lead to price increases, cost-shifting and/or changes in providers' willingness to treat patients with low-reimbursement health coverage.

So, in essence, CMS has concluded the same as the bill's opponents have concluded. This is the mantra that Dick Morris has been preaching. He often says that if you increase the number of patients without increasing the number of doctors and nurses that will have an adverse effect on health care. Now, CMS agrees with him.

Because Democrats can't claim that CMS has an axe to grind, defenders of the bill are taking a different tack. Instead, they're saying that this analysis is obselete because the House health care bill won't be the final bill. That's true. No one knows what the final bill will be. So, CMS can't analyze what doesn't exist. The question is what will be in the final bill that will have a different philosophy.

The analysis is pretty simple. The House health care bill will add millions and put them into the system and we won't have any more doctors or nurses. Isn't that the goal of the Democrats? What is universal health care if not the addition of millions of people into the health care system? There's been no new bill that has added hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of doctors. So, are we to believe that the final bill will have a mechanism to add doctors while adding patients?

Defenders of the bill have done this dance everytime there's a negative analysis. When the insurance companies released their study, they attacked the insurance companies. Now that this study comes out they say it's outdated. What they've never done is counter the simple logic in both these analysis. The insurance companies concluded that if you have a reasonable penalty for not having insurance but don't allow insurance companies to deny coverage for pre existing conditions then far too many people will only get insurance when you get sick. Forget who came to this conclusion and explain why this is not a proper analysis. The CMS has concluded that millions will be put into the system without adding doctors and nurses and this will strain the system. Forget that they're analyzing and old bill and explain how the final bill won't do that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like after they address the high cost of health care, they should start addressing the high cost of higher education.