For the last four years, conservatives have been decrying the dangers of ObamaCare. Now it looks like we are right, but this blogger takes no joy in being Cassandra.
The New York Times describes how lower health care premiums will be the result of reduced choice: people who were once able to access a wide variety of doctors and hospitals will be restricted to cost-effective (i.e. often lower-quality) institutions. In related news, PPOs are turning into HMOs. I have long said that one of the beautiful things about the American medical system is that middle-class people can access the best medical care in the world. Adele went to MGH to get surgery on her vocal cords; only the uber-wealthy Britons are able to get the same quality of care that American teachers, secretaries, and small business owners have access to. Now, only the super-wealthy will get MGH-level care. This is “compassionate” and “progress”.
As Da TechGuy explains, the best way to provide care for the poor and needy is to set up free clinics, staffed by doctors and nurses who are in their residencies or just out of school; such a system is politically untenable, as it is a medical system and not a spoils system. I will again point out that efficiency is an issue, not just how much money is actually spent. A dollar spent on a bureaucracy is a dollar not spent on medical treatment.
As I’ve long said, none of this is good for women. As just one example, Penn State required its faculty to fill out an online questionnaire; women were asked, inter alia, if they planned on having children within the next year. Non-compliance resulted in a $100 fine. Just what every woman seeking tenure wants to divulge. “Hey, don’t bother giving me grants, support, or research funds; I’m going to get knocked up in a few months anyway.” Women have a lot more to lose through invasive government regulations, procedures, and data-gathering – but it’s really Republicans who are waging a war on women. Or something.