Loss of health care freedoms

As I said below, Americans are finding out that actual health care reform won't be easy, and there will be the same kind of backlash that I vividly remember from 1993. Shawn Tully writes the kind of article we are going to see more and more of:

The Senate bill requires that Americans buying through the exchanges -- and as we've seen, that will soon be most Americans -- must get their care through something called "medical home." Medical home is similar to an HMO. You're assigned a primary care doctor, and the doctor controls your access to specialists. The primary care physicians will decide which services, like MRIs and other diagnostic scans, are best for you, and will decide when you really need to see a cardiologists or orthopedists.

Under the proposals, the gatekeepers would theoretically guide patients to tests and treatments that have proved most cost-effective. The danger is that doctors will be financially rewarded for denying care, as were HMO physicians more than a decade ago.

That's right-- to control costs, you actually have to spend less money. And if the government is the rationer, by definition Americans will have fewer choices.

Free advice to anyone looking to quash health care reform: Recite the above two paragraphs in as many settings and media as possible over and over again. Nothing else could be more powerful.

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Not sure it'll be that viral

I disagree with the premise that soon most Americans will be buying through the "exchanges". Even during the rise of the HMO craze, which seriously pissed me off, there were people trying their damnedest to stay out of HMOs.

What I think we will see, in response to the various government requirements that are coming out, is ways that insurance companies can reduce their risk, without violating the "no dumping people who get sick" requirements (for example).

Doctors know that preventative medicine, routine checkups, early diagnosis and treatment, are cost effective. I think that with insurance companies forced to keep sick customers they'll be heavily incented to engage in much more preventative medicine, including diagnostic testing, than we've seen in the past.

Viral Health Quote

Adam de Angeli thinks this is a better candidate:

By the way, the killer line of the night, one I highly recommend you use, was this: "If the government can provide affordable, quality medical coverage for all Americans, let them prove it by providing it to our veterans."

That struck a nerve. That might have converted the staff themselves to re-consider the nobility of their cause.