Wednesday, April 30, 2014

ACA/Obamacare: The National Health-Care Spending Level is Politically Bad, Until It's Politically Good. Huh?

"A slew of new reports suggest that health care costs are growing faster – and the White House says that's actually good news.

To them, more medical spending is proof that Obamacare is working: more people are getting health insurance, so they're using more medical care.

Most of the data – both from the federal government and private research firms – shows that health care costs are rising because people are using more medical services. At the same time, health care prices – how much a hospital charges for a knee replacement, for example, or an MRI – are growing slowly." - White House: More health spending means Obamacare is working,, 04/30/2014

Link to the entire article appears below:


1 comment:

  1. It's hard to take an article seriously when they say things like "Health care prices, meanwhile, grew slowly in the first quarter of 2014. They rose by 0.5 percent – about one-third of the rate of overall economic growth. This essentially means that people can buy more health care for their dollar now than they could last year."

    How does that translate into a dollar buying more health care than last year? One must assume that most people are making more money, commensurate with the "economic growth" rate. How are they measuring "economic growth"? GDP? If so, then we should take this article even less seriously.

    If wages are stagnant and/or inflation weakens the dollar a price rise of 0.5% means less purchasing power.

    "If you had coverage last year and still have coverage this year, you could buy more health care and not have to spend more." Unless, like many people, your deductible and co-insurance went up.

    Boots on the ground view: From a surgery perspective it's very slow this year. I've been talking with people locally and nationally and in terms of procedures business is very slow across most surgical specialties. Maybe folks are spending their health care money elsewhere, but the O.R.'s are not seeing a spike. Maybe it's new Medicaid patients. Maybe the Boomers who are entering Medicare are finally going to the doctor. Whatever, it seems that in many areas of the country surgical procedures seem to be slowing down. At one hospital the nurses told me when they call a patient to schedule their surgery and tell them what their out of pocket cost will be, they cancel.

    This is so shallow.