NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Health Care Law Is Due for a Second Opinion

January 26, 2011

Less than a year after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, there is reason to believe that American patients -- especially seniors with Medicare -- will experience an alarming reduction in the quality and accessibility of medical care, says Dr. Donald J. Palmisano, former president of the American Medical Association.

  • The law's authors endangered seniors by cutting over $500 billion from our already cash-strapped Medicare program.
  • Making matters worse, they created the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of unelected bureaucrats who will soon be empowered to cut billions more from Medicare.

If Congress does not act soon to defend America's seniors from these threats, there is no telling what kind of care Medicare recipients will receive 10 -- or even five -- years down the road.  Already there is dramatic evidence of Medicare and Medicaid patients having difficulty finding physicians because of the draconian price-fixing in both programs. 

Congress also must address much-needed changes that were overlooked in the Affordable Care Act, some of which are driving talented doctors from the profession, resulting in reduced access to care for patients, says Palmisano.

  • To remedy this problem, Congress should enact meaningful medical liability reform, allowing doctors to focus on providing care to patients instead of wasting vital resources on needless bureaucracy and unnecessary tests meant to protect them from flagrant lawsuits.
  • Additionally, a permanent fix for the flawed sustainable growth rate formula would help ensure that Medicare can keep up with continued advances in medical technology and allow seniors to continue receiving the high quality medical care they need and deserve.
  • In addition, Congress should allow balanced billing and private contracts between patients and physicians without penalty.

Source: Donald J. Palmisano, "The Health Care Law Is Due for a Second Opinion," Daily Caller, January 18, 2011.

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