Echoing my sentiments in my post about what scares me in the future of health care, Dr. Ken Mattox, vice chairman of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine has written a great post over on the Texas Medical Association’s blog, Blogged Arteries about why HR 3200 will cause the cost of medical care to rise in the US.
My thoughts are that none of the plans proposed do anything to stop the actual reasons our cost in the US is so high. Dr. Mattox seems to agree.
This bill does not address the cost drivers like futility, duplicate or unnecessary ordering of tests, nor the 50 percent of the health care costs that are administrative, hassle, and tort focused. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf stated on Thursday that this bill would break the budget. I heard the President and others state that the overriding force to reform health care is to reduce costs and to address the economics to the benefit of all. HR 3200 does not do this, it does just the opposite. I do not understand.
And Dr. Mattox and I aren’t the only ones not pleased about the current attempt at reform, Dr. Wes presented at the National Press Club last week and again brought up some of the same points. And he makes a great statement about the fact that the voices of physicians and all care-givers are not being heard in our current push to reform (which is capitalization on panic, a strategy Obama has made good use of). From Dr. Wes:
Yes, there are problems with our current system, too many to describe in this brief press conference, but for the first time, a serious dialog about our problems and how to solve them is underway. How these reform ideas really translate into reality, how they look to those of us on the ground, has to be played out before our patients are put at risk. The only people who can play that out for you are the frontline caregivers. If we don’t have the time or patience to do that, we’ve got a problem.
It’s good to know that I’m not alone in thinking that the current ideas on the table are not a fix, hell they’re not even a band-aid for the actual problems facing the health care industry. Hopefully the politicians will begin to listen before it’s too late.