The inflationary consequences have primarily been absorbed by “competing” private insurers whose patient bills are inflated by hospitals and physicians to cover losses from CMS price controls. When Intermountain Health System focused on preventing medical errors, it took a loss on every Medicare patient because Medicare underpays excellence by 20-40 percent.
Medicare underpayments have caused a shortage crisis in primary care physicians. Plus, these limits in physician income contribute to the less than stellar medical school applicants in recent decades as the talented students choose price control-free careers. CMS price floors have resulted in overpayments to cardiologists (recently and painfully corrected) creating decades of surpluses and waste. The same for overpriced CT scans because CMS’s pricing system is slow to respond to technological advances that lowered costs while increasing value. CMS cannot even control Medicare fraud ranging from $50 to $100 billion annually. These are not the characteristics of a free market, but the consequences of socialism.
Supporters of Patient Affordable Care Act have to ignore decades of history and believe that “in part” government price controls that are presently destroying health care if implement “in whole” will save health care. I think that fits Einstein’s definition of insanity.
R. Daniel King