Medicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Program Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians
Dr. David Hogberg
HEALTHCARE ANALYST: Dr. David Hogberg, is a former senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. He is author of Medicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Programs Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians.
Remember Barack Obama’s infamous “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” promise? Or the reality that keeping the health plan or doctor you liked was never actually guaranteed under Obamacare?
National Center Senior Fellow David Hogberg, Ph.D. calls this one of the “biggest lies of Obamacare.” Worse still, there is new legislation in the U.S. Senate that he says will “repeat one of the worst features of Obamacare” in a way that would increase health care costs and decrease coverage.
In a new commentary published on the American Thinker website, David reports that, at the behest of big insurance companies, the “Lower Health Care Cost Act,” introduced by Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, essentially establishes new price controls on health care similar to the “community rating” scheme under Obamacare.
Congress created the Lower Health Care Cost Act to resolve the issue of surprise medical billing, which occurs when patients with insurance receive coverage in facilities outside of their network in isolated, emergency situations. However, David surmises this bill is less likely to protect against unexpected medical costs and high prescription prices as it is to further separate patients from the plans and the people with whom they want to work, all while serving as even more corporate windfall to the insurance companies that have profited off Obamacare.
David believes that rather than impose price controls, the best way to solve surprise medical billing while protecting consumers’ interests is through arbitration, which other bills, such as Stopping The Outrageous Practice of Surprise Medical Bills Act, propose.
PLUG BOOK: www.amazon.com/Medicares-Victims-Governments-Patients-Physicians/dp/0692415327/
ABOUT: In Medicare’s Victims, you’ll read the intimate stories of patients and physicians who have struggled with Medicare, and then you’ll learn how the particular Medicare policy has caused their plight. The patients who are victims of Medicare are often the sickest of the sick, whether it is the disabled who are on Medicare’s two-year waiting period; seniors who fell into Part D’s donut hole; or patients who are harmed because they receive too much treatment or not enough. The physicians who are victims are ones who struggle to provide the best care for their patients while Medicare’s reimbursement system, in effect, punishes them for it. They all tend to have one thing in common: lack of political power. For example, people who are seriously ill are relatively few in number. As such, they do not have the numbers necessary to impact elections. Further, people who are ill are generally not engaging in the networking, meetings and other activities necessary to form effective political organizations. Thus, Congress seldom feels the pressure to change the policies that harm these people. In the end, you’ll learn how we can reform Medicare so that patients and physicians are put in control of their own medical decisions and, thus, will be much less likely to be victimized.
BIO: David Hogberg was senior fellow for health care policy at the National Center for Public Policy Research. He has previously worked for Investor’s Business Daily, the Office of Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, the Capital Research Center, and the Public Interest Institute. He has a B.A. from CSU Sacramento, an M.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, all in political science.