WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THE AHA?!

Apparently, the American Hospital Association has learned nothing from the failure of the AMA’s quisling strategy. The organization that should be defending hospitals against bureaucratic intrusion has endorsed Donald Berwick, who promises to be the most radical and intrusive CMS head ever:

On Monday, 10 leading hospital groups representing the bulk of America’s hospitals, including the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association of the United States and the National Association of Children’s Hospitals, stood behind President Obama’s pick for the top CMS post.

The stupidity of this is breathtaking. Berwick is being sold by the Dems and the White House as a “quality” guru. For hospitals, that will translate to a new wave of cost-increasing regulations that will tie payment rates to highly subjective standards involving events and circumstances that no institution can control.  

Half of U.S. hospitals are already losing money and any further increase in the regulatory morass will push many into bankruptcy. Don’t think a hospital can go out of business? Consider that we have seen more than 1,000 hospitals close their doors since the federal government imposed Medicare price controls.

The only reason the others haven’t gone under is that they have a lot of patients with private insurance plans that pay a fair market price for hospital services. What has that got to do with with Berwick and CMS? Well, he wants to lead health care out of “the darkness of private enterprise.”

Berwick will do everything in his power (which will be considerable in the CMS post) to shut down the health insurance industry and herd everyone onto some government health coverage program. How can he shut down the health insurance industry. By working with his HHS boss on stuff like this:

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is quietly working on a new regulation to determine when insurance price increases are “unreasonable? and potentially prohibited by law.

In other words, price controls, the result of which will be insurance companies getting out of the health coverage business. Don’t believe that can happen? Well, it’s already happening. Read this letter, brought to my attention by commenter arb. Millions of Americans will be getting such letters during the next few years.

So, the AHA is endorsing a nominee for CMS administrator who favors the eventual elimination of the only things that stand between most hospitals and bankruptcy, who will crush hospitals under a mountain of bureaucratic regulations and try to cut off the stream of private insurance payments. It’s nuts.

This is the fast track to a socialized system like Great Britain’s crumbling NHS (which, not coincidentally, Berwick greatly admires).

Comments 4

  1. Marc Brown wrote:

    Er, maybe because Berwick is an outstanding physician, administrator and thinker who has already saved many lives through your hospital safety campaign, as the US is king of medical mistakes. I have no doubt he will be brilliant at tackling the massive waste in your system and improving outcomes, although only full single payer will truly start to make major inroads into your last place rating in western healthcare – the latest Commonwealth Fund report says: ‘Despite having the most expensive health care system, the United States ranks last overall compared to six other industrialized countries—Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom—on measures of health system performance in five areas: quality, efficiency, access to care, equity and the ability to lead long, healthy, productive lives…’

    Posted 25 Jun 2010 at 10:48 am
  2. Catron wrote:

    … who has already saved many lives through your hospital safety campaign …

    LOL … He’s hasn’t saved squat. He’s just another useless Harvard windbag, like the guy who nominated him.

    As for the “hospital safety campaign,” it is regarded throughout the industry as a costly and ineffective charade.

    Posted 26 Jun 2010 at 10:32 pm
  3. Marc Brown wrote:

    Nonsense. The proof is also when everyone agrees he’s the right man bar the same whackos who line up with climate change deniers and intelligent design.

    Posted 27 Jun 2010 at 5:11 am
  4. Lee Welter wrote:

    Let me choose “the darkness of private enterprise” rather than suffer from the tyranny of government monopolies.

    Posted 27 Jun 2010 at 10:48 am

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