CAIN, CANCER AND OBAMACARE

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss Herman Cain’s claim during last week’s Republican debate that he’d be dead if ObamaCare had been in effect when his colon and liver cancer were diagnosed.

Cain pointed out that ‘from March 2006 all the way to the end of 2006, for that number of months, I was able to get the necessary CT scans, go to the necessary doctors, get a second opinion, get chemotherapy … go to get surgery, recuperate from surgery, get more chemotherapy in a span of nine months.’ He went on to suggest that, under ObamaCare and its bureaucratic red tape, his diagnosis and treatment would have unfolded far more slowly and that probably would have been fatal.

This comment provoked a good deal of sneering from the left and even some skepticism among frequent critics of ObamaCare. But these people aren’t considering the effect of ObamaCare’s “Accountable Care Organizations”:

A key feature of ObamaCare is the Accountable Care Organization (ACO), and it will affect the delivery of care more profoundly than any development since Medicare introduced the Prospective Payment System (PPS) … However, instead of merely shifting the setting of care, the ACO will slow down the speed at which it is delivered. In other words, a system purportedly designed to promote quality and efficiency actually creates disincentives that discourage physicians from pursuing those goals.

So, Cain was absolutely right when he said, ‘I’m here five years cancer free because I could do it on my timetable and not on a bureaucrat’s timetable.’ To learn why Cain is right, read the rest of the column at the American Spectator.

Comments 7

  1. Marc Brown wrote:

    Do you think the fact he’s a millionaire may have had something to do with his access to healthcare? In any case, the ACOs are for Medicare, not for the likes of Cain (and who was under Medicare age). There are thousands of Americans who do not currently get anything like Cain’s cancer care below Medicare age.

    Posted 29 Sep 2011 at 7:30 am
  2. Diogenes wrote:

    “ACOs are for Medicare, not for the likes of Cain.”

    The Medicare ACOs are obviously the beta version.

    Just as they did with the Prospective Payment system, the HHS bureaucrats will expand them to Medicaid (where two-thirds of the newly insured will wind up under ObamaCare) and then every other government health care program.

    Likewise, ACOs are now voluntary, but that will change in due course as well. The government already controls 50% of the U.S. health care market. If ObamaCare remains in place, that figure will be 75% by the end of the decade.

    And, by the time ObamaCare is completely implemented, the private health care industry will have all but vanished. So, anyone in Cain’s situation will be subject to the forces described in the article.

    And, BTW, your use of the word “millionaire” as if it were a synonym for “child molestor” tips your class warfare hand. That Cain has (through an enormous amount of hard work) become wealthy is not bug. It’s a feature.

    Posted 29 Sep 2011 at 2:29 pm
  3. Milla wrote:

    As a Swedish citizen with several American friends (some living here in Europe) I have been following the health care debate in the US with some interest. From my viewpoint it seems you guys are paying more for less compared with the typical single payer systems in place in Europe.

    From a personal perspective I have nothing but positve experiences with Swedish healthcare. There is no red tape, no bureaucracy and Doctors have complete authority regarding treatment. This is proof enough for me that a single payer system can work well for patients and also be more cost-effective.

    This being said, I do understand that “Obamacare” is nothing like our system but rather a patchwork trying to make the best of a bad situation. I see that there is infact cause for concern regarding the overall effectivity of such a system.

    Well anyway here’s my question to all you opponents of the introduction of a single payer system.

    Do you have a better solution?

    Posted 29 Sep 2011 at 3:48 pm
  4. Rich wrote:

    See this regarding Sweden’s healthcare. It certainly appears to be cost-effective, but at the expense of long wait-times for surgeries.

    http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA555_Sweden_Health_Care.html

    “For all Swedes who needed an operation in 2003, slightly more than half waited more than three months (see Figure 2).”

    Posted 29 Sep 2011 at 10:10 pm
  5. Frank wrote:

    “Do you think the fact he’s a millionaire may have had something to do with his access to healthcare?”

    FUNNY …. His mother was an African-American maid.

    “Sweden’s so great!” Gee—-all the USA has to do is move everyone to Alaska! It is so laughable when the “brilliant” compare the USA with Sweden and other such places when, in reality, there are so many differences only a fool would try to do so.

    Mr. Cain’s point: Try waiting in a line, when you’re sick. I have, with all the silly paperwork, regulations, etc. Not much fun.

    OweBama or your job. You decide. I have. Shellacking II, Nov. 6, 2012.

    Posted 30 Sep 2011 at 12:10 pm
  6. MonkeyIncognito wrote:

    The swipes at market based ACO’s are interesting. It looks like the hosiptal based ones are ripe for abuse, but the multi-specialty group practice models have been very successful. PPACA only diluted ACO models to include almost everything imaginable that is not run by an insurance co. The top performing plan in our market is an ACO. That is from a third-party benchmarking study on financial performance and quality outcomes. They have been taking key accounts for a number of years.

    Posted 30 Sep 2011 at 3:21 pm
  7. Milla wrote:

    Rich: Good point but please note that David Hogberg strongly opposes the implementation of any single payer system on ideological grounds. I think it’s fair to say that his conclusions are biased.

    In reality there are waiting lists, sure. But only for scheduled treatments of non-life threatening ailments that do not cause great discomfort for patients. I see that Hogberg included fitting of hearing aids and catharact ops to his stats! The reason for these waiting lists are of course that patients with immediate needs (cancer, heart attacks, etc) have higher priority and rightly so if you ask me.

    Frank: What are these great differences you speak of? Are you suggesting that it is somehow easier to provide cheap effective health care in colder climates? What in your mind would be the best way (better than a true single payer system) to improve health care in America. Surely you are not happy with the way things are?

    Posted 30 Sep 2011 at 3:34 pm

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