Monday, March 22, 2010

Health Care - FUBAR

We are, individually and as a nation, about to have a kumbaya-grade "we are so screwed" moment.

The ObamaCare bill had grand aspirations. Regrettably, those expectations did not and do not reflect either economic or human reality, no matter how nobly motivated.

In the short term, what we can all hope are unintended consequences, are likely to include:

1) Significantly fewer practitioners, particularly in higher risk specializations, e.g., Obstetrics and Emergency Medicine as MD's in those fields facing diminished compensation make the logical choice to work in areas that allow them lesser liability. This trend has already been going on for some time - this bill will only accelerate it. Other MD's, unwilling to tolerate the increased paperwork and expense (yes, juggling paper costs money) even as compensation is reduced, delayed, and denied. Some polls of physicians estimate as many of 40% of today's practitioners considering leaving the health care professions.

2) Businesses that could not afford health care for employees before, certainly will not be able to now, and will in many cases fold in the face of the requirements of the new bill - taking employees (and slower moving owners) from "just getting by" to the joys of poverty and unemployment. Most of these newly unemployed workers would not agree that food stamps and unemployment are an improvement in their condition.

3) Taxes. We will see taxes. Oh my, the taxes. And they will strike at a time when businesses are particularly vulnerable, during a major depression - giving us another wave of newly unemployed as borderline and small businesses, who employ so many Americans and are so often the start-ups where innovation and invention occur, go under with greater or lesser damage to the economy as the invested money goes down the rat hole of bankruptcy.

4) As we see fewer practitioners, and fewer diagnostic tests are permitted, we will see more mis-diagnosis and less desirable end results, particularly in complex cases.

5) Because of the Chicago-Style backroom thuggery employed, and the blatant disregard of the Constitution, we will see a yet deeper divide in the social polity of the United States, a divide that grows so vast as to cause an objective observer to wonder if it can ever again be healed.

It was a nice, not perfect, health care system while we had it. We had better patient end-results than any other health care system on the planet - the true measure of how well the system works. Today, our elected leaders have taken a huge step towards gracing us with Phase I of the British National Health Service, nightmarish abortion that it is.

God/dess help us all.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

All good points GC... and now WE have to do something in November...

WV- badmorls Yep, bad morals are rampant in DC...