Unaccountable Care Act**
Other Stealthy ObamaCare Menace: The
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Exists to Impose Price Controls and
Limit Payments To Providers
of OP-Ed article, by Lanhee Chen and
James Capretta, Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2014
Another title for the health law, other than “The Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act, “
might be “The Provider Rationing and Unaccountable Care Act.”
As Lanhee Chen of the
Hoover Institution and James Capretta of the American Enterprise Institute observe:
“The Affordable Care Act’s Independent Payment Advisory
Board has been so heavily criticized for
being an unaccountable body with the power to effectively ration Medicare
services that many congressional Democrats no longer support it.”
It is unaccountable for good reason. The Independent Advisory Board and its bureaucratic
cousin, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation – never has to go back
to Congress to get an appropriation.
ObamaCare gave it $10 billion , upfront,
to cover its first 10 years, and after that, it can get another $10 billion –
no questions asked. Meanwhile it will
grow from its initial 68 employees to 440 full time workers by 2015.
And what has the Independent Advisory Board (IPA) and the Center for Medicare and
Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) done to justify this lavish expenditure?
The IPA has done nothing.
Its so-called 15 “experts,” who were to be charged with the duty of
limiting hospital and physician reimbursements, have yet to be appointed.
The CMMI has been busy promoting Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), herding doctors into hospital-physician
organizations to “save” Medicare and Medicaid money, talking about “bundling” hospital-physician
services, and engaging in slashing payments to Medicare Advantage plans, to
which 30% of Medicare recipients belong.
The IPA-CMMI agency’s mindset is that the federal government is best
positioned to lead a medical innovation effort through demonstration projects.
At this effort, it
will surely fail. As I pointed out in
my book The Health Reform Maze: A
Blueprint for Physician Practices (Greenbranch Publishing, 2010),
government is poor at innovation.
abandons a project.
It is not gambling with its own money.
Its success is measured with good intentions,
It succeeds by growing too big to fail and too
influential to stop.
It cannot go out of business, can print money to
keep going, and is propped up by taxpayer money, and does not understand risk - the basis of American capitalism.”
To this list I would add, government is secretive,can hide behind its bureaucratic shield and its media protectors.
Innovation comes in many forms- electronic, organizational. communicative
, and technological. Lately, social
networking through Twitter, Facebook, and
YouTube have gotten the greatest play. Government is not destined to win any
innovation honors. Paradoxically, at least in the government’s eyes, only deregulation
and market-competition, which government elites abhor, not bureaucratic
micromanagement, will achieve what government says it wants to happen.
Tweet: 2 government agencies, Independent Payment
Advisory Board and Center of Medicare
and Medicaid Innovation, will fail to
contain costs or to innovate.
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