The Mayo group is doing this first at only one of its centers, to find out whether, as they obviously suspect will be the case, they have to follow suit as well at their other units in Arizona, Florida, and Minnesota. President Obama had previously said that Mayo offers “the highest quality care at costs well below the national norm.” But they have found that Medicare pays its doctors too little, and even this cost conscious health organization, run on an efficient business model in which doctors are paid a regular salary not dependent upon how many patients they treat, cannot keep up the program because the gap is too much to make up.
We know, of course, that the health reform will now even lower Medicare payments to doctors. What this means, as the Bloomberg article notes, is that Mayo’s decision “may be copied by family doctors, some of whom have stopped accepting new patients from the program.” The American Academy of Family Physicians notes this is already happening. With 30 million more added to the number of those insured, with less doctors available to treat them, and with insurance paying them even less, we can look forward to thousands more doctors and medical groups making a similar announcement sooner rather than later.
This will happen because it is a simple matter of economics, something the proponents of ObamaCare seem to know little about. Last year Mayo lost $840 million alone on Medicare! Once the “reform” goes into effect, that number will undoubtedly double or triple, if health organizations do not begin to refuse to accept the insurance. What’s next? Another law making it a criminal offense for a health organization to do that? Doctors who now are paid 20 percent less for treating Medicare patients than caring for those privately insured will not look kindly to keeping with Medicare when they end up being paid 30 to 40 percent less in the future.
Supporters of the program argue, as a fellow at a liberal think tank told Bloomberg news, that Medicare lacks providers because not enough new doctors are becoming family doctors, internists, and pediatricians. But why should they, since they are being told in advance that with the new rules, they will most likely not have enough pay to cover expenses, pay off medical school bills, and, of course, cover the exorbitant cost of medical insurance? What ever happened to tort reform? Oh yes — the trial lawyers that dominate the Democratic Party coffers are opposed, and, somehow, any indication that it might be put into law disappeared. That alone, of course, could lower costs tremendously and help put into effect a meaningful new health reform. Bring it up, and you will be accused of being an anti-humane conservative or Republican.
I’ll take that insult, and lend my name to the efforts of others who want to defeat this abominable health reform bill.