You Only Thought You Wanted to Keep Your Hospital
Liberal New Republic editor Jonathan Cohn admits that under Obamacare the California networks have become exceedingly restrictive regarding doctors and hospitals. He even points out that one of Los Angeles' finest hospitals, Cedars-Sinai, isn't in the new Obamacare networks.
But don't be upset, Cohn coos, Cedars-Sinai isn't all it's cracked up to be. And people just wanted to go there for the snob appeal, anyway, in order to hobnob with the rich and famous.
So don't worry, be happy. You didn't really know what you wanted, or you wanted it for bad reasons.
Get ready for this sort of argument to come your way from other liberals who are still actively promoting the wonders of Obamacare:
...[W]hile we might think we know what’s good for us medically, the relationship between hospital prestige and hospital quality is a lot weaker than it may seem. Health insurance is changing for some Americans because of Obamacare, but the changes are not the catastrophe many of them think….
Ratings from HealthGrades, a Denver-based company that uses government data and other information to judge hospitals around the country, [indicate] Cedars is “better than average” at preventing death following a serious complication from surgery, for example, but “worse than average” at letting patients get bed sores and bloodstream infections from catheters….
According to official government data, the readmission rate for heart failure and pneumonia patients is well below both the national average and the rates at other area teaching hospitals. But that doesn’t mean Cedars is the place to go when you have a routine broken arm.
But you may have already guessed that Cohn is merely warming us up for the biggie, the solution to all these woes and the conclusion of his piece:
The only way to avoid these problems altogether is to have government do the job instead. In other words, you need a single-payer system in which all hospitals accept everyone’s insurance. But that conversation never got past the phrase “government-run medicine,” and Americans, perhaps unwittingly, chose to place their faith in market forces. The insurers have adapted and so have the hospitals. Now it’s the consumers’ turn, and that means relinquishing the idea that cachet always equals quality. For many people, the hospital of the stars may seem like just another piece of the Beverly Hills lifestyle tantalizingly out of reach. But like so many other things in Hollywood, the true value of care at Cedars-Sinai might involve a little make-believe, too.
That last paragraph gives the reader the full flavor of Cohn's agenda and assumptions, as well as his style. Americans "perhaps unwittingly" chose "market forces." Those stupid Americans again, who don't know what they're doing. Of course, Cohn ignores the fact that Americans never actually chose Obamacare at all. It was never popular, and was passed through devious and Byzantine means. And "market forces"? Obamacare is so far from being an insurance system based on market forces that Cohn's statement is quite simply ludicrous. He knows better, but he's hoping we ignorant "unwitting" folk don't.