Medicare, we are incessantly told by single-payer advocates, is a hugely successful program. In support of this assertion, they invariably claim that the program has been better at controlling costs than the private insurance industry. Well, here’s an article that illustrates how this brilliant “success? has manifested itself in many parts of the country:

According to the Oregon Medical Association, 23.7 percent of primary care practices in the state are already closed to new Medicare patients, up from 11.8 percent in 2004. Only one in four of the physicians surveyed by the OMA said they would continue to accept new Medicare patients if rates went down as projected next year.

Medicare “manages” costs though a system of arbitrary price controls, and such controls always produce shortages. In this case, the government’s artificial ceiling on physician payments has dramatically reduced the number of doctors who can afford to treat Medicare patients.

Since 2001, the formula has kept physician reimbursement rates roughly the same while the costs of running a medical practice have risen about 5 percent a year, said Dr. William Jessee, the president and CEO of the Medical Group Management Association.

Physicians and hospitals cannot stay open if they are paid less money than it costs to treat patents. The “cost control? measures imposed by Medicare increasingly force providers to choose between closing their doors or refusing to accept Medicare patients. Thus, the government has produced an ever-widening shortage of providers willing to accept such patients.

This is government-run health care in action folks.  

[via Kevin,MD]

Comments 2

  1. joann sullivan wrote:

    the government taking over health care

    Posted 18 Jan 2008 at 10:53 am
  2. Josephine Schmitt wrote:

    I have crippling Rheumatoid Arthritis on Medicare and have supplementing retiree ins mine plus my husbands.

    Medicare has been denying most of the payments to my arthiritis DR and my supplemental ins willonly pay what medicare denies

    Medicare keeps saying my cortizone injections are un necessary and without them I cant function

    I do resent my work retiree ins. wont pick up some of the expenses.

    I also have Chrohns disease and cannot tolerate most oral medications as I am prone to intestinal obstructions but this does not seem a necessary treatment according to medicare.

    I dont hear anything about this problem existing according to any presidential canditates seniors sick be damned…

    Posted 09 Feb 2008 at 4:08 pm

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