Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Warning Signs that Plans May Be in the Works for the Government to Prevent You From Buying an Expensive Health Plan with Your Own Money

Harvard economist Greg Mankiw spotted the warning sign and sets up the scene:

Chills went down my spine a few days ago when I read the following proposal from the Center for American Progress, a think tank with strong ties to the Democratic party:

Thus we also include a failsafe mechanism that would ensure significant savings. Our failsafe would be triggered if, starting in 2020, total economywide health care expenditures grow at a rate faster than the economy. Should that happen, we would empower the IPAB [the panel of experts set up by President Obama's health care law] to extend successful reforms in Medicare and other public programs to insurance plans offered in the health care exchanges and then potentially to all health care plans, such that the target is met. This will ensure that costs are constrained across the health care sector, preventing cost-shifting and maintaining access for all.*
That is, under the likely scenario that healthcare spending keeps rising faster than GDP, the Center for American Progress would give government the power to prohibit people from buying expensive health plans with their own money. That is not my idea of progress. -----

*Source: Page 43-44 of this document. I put the crucial phrase in bold.
As I have said before, if you are a physician you need to start thinking about leaving the country. Price controls on your wages are coming and you will be working for peanuts treating patients in a cattle line.

For the rest of America, it will be declining healthcare and declining life expectancy.

BTW: Mankiw correctly titles his post,The Next Step on the Road to Serfdom


  1. RE: The Next Step on the Road to Serfdom
    Harvard economists sometimes do see things clearly.

  2. Price controls are coming? Wrong, they are already here. My father is a cardiologist. All of his 3,000 patients are on medicare. He can only charge amounts already approved by medicare. If he charges different, he can go to jail (or so he tells me, not sure he'd actually go to jail). Sadly, my father father discouraged has discouraged me from becoming a doctor my entire life. He hates practicing medicine and cannot wait to leave.

  3. Read the proposed rules for Medicare's Accountable Care Organizations. They are Rube Goldberg complexification.