Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Never Ending Health Reform BS Machine

Just at the beginning of the month, I posted at the Doctors for America Blog about a couple of ridiculous email campaigns that will not die, in spite of  how ridiculous they both were and are.

A friend sent me another one this morning, which is actually a YouTube video (link below). The video is based on previously debunked BS email that was going around in 2009, as noted by Snopes. At the time, Politifact covered it, and you can read the debunking here.

Sent: Saturday, May 5, 2012 4:57 AM

More details on your healthcare bill.

Please watch the entire video.... Then forward it to everyone you know.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=HcBaSP31Be8&vg=medium (10:29)!

What is most astounding to me is that you can have a steaming pile of BS, like the original letter, and then take the time and effort to turn it into a video without, apparently, using The Google to see if any of it is true! Who does this stuff?

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Medicaid payments to primary-care doctors will rise under new regulation - The Washington Post

Medicaid payments to primary-care doctors will rise under new regulation - The Washington Post: Primary care doctors could get a pay raise next year for treating Medicaid patients, under a rule announced by the Obama administration Wednesday.

The proposed regulation implements a two-year pay increase included in the 2010 health-care law. The increase, effective in 2013 and 2014, brings primary care fees for Medicaid, which covers indigent patients, in line with those for Medicare, which insures the elderly and some disabled patients.

Although Medicaid is jointly funded by states and the federal government, the pay boost would be covered entirely with federal dollars totaling more than $11 billion over the two years it would be in effect.

Congress automatically appropriated those funds when it adopted the health-care law, so it will not need to act now.

However, the provision is among hundreds that could be instantly nullified if the Supreme Court decides to overturn the law in its entirety when it rules on the constitutional challenge. The court heard arguments on the case in March, and a decision is expected late next month.

The pay raise is one of several attempts in the law to address a fundamental challenge in U.S. health-care: Because primary care doctors focus on preventive care, they offer the best hope of curbing the nation’s health spending. Yet they are paid far less than specialists, contributing to a shortage of primary care doctors that is projected to grow with the aging of baby boomers, the retirement of physicians and an expected influx of more than 30 million Americans who will gain insurance through the health-care law beginning in 2014.

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Canadian doctors say fee cuts, pay inequalities will spur exodus | News | National Post

Canadian doctors say fee cuts, pay inequalities will spur exodus | News | National Post:

Despite repeated, expensive attempts to more logically divvy up fees, ophthalmologists earn almost 70% more on average than brain surgeons, who take in almost double the income of psychiatrists, according to Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) figures.

“There are terrible inequities within medicine,” said Michael Rachlis, a Toronto physician and health policy analyst. “And this has really almost nothing to do with the actual value of services. It’s just that some services … often because of technological change, end up being relatively overpaid.”

Comparisons with other industrialized countries suggest that, on average, Canada is among the most generous in remunerating its doctors, though the U.S. continues to out-pay in some specialities. Statistics and recruitment agencies report a net migration of physicians into Canada lately.

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Slippery-Slope Logic vs. Health Care Law - Economic View - NYTimes.com

Slippery-Slope Logic vs. Health Care Law - Economic View - NYTimes.com:

There is a DirecTV ad that humorously illustrates the basic form of the slippery-slope argument. A foreboding announcer intones a list of syllogisms that are enacted on screen: “When your cable company puts you on hold, you get angry. When you get angry, you go blow off steam. When you go blow off steam, accidents happen.” Later, we reach the finale: “You wake up in a roadside ditch. Don’t wake up in a roadside ditch.”

Although this ad is intended to be funny, arguments that make no more sense can and do affect public policy. The idea is that while Policy X may be acceptable, it will inevitably lead to the terrible Outcome Y, so it is vital that we prevent Policy X from ever being enacted. The problem is that such arguments are often made without any evidence that doing X makes Y more likely, much less inevitable. What percentage of people who are left on hold on the telephone end up in a roadside ditch?

The anecdotal track record of people making slippery-slope predictions in the political domain is replete with bad forecasts. An opponent of women’s suffrage once predicted that giving women the right to vote would create a “race of masculine women and effeminate men and the mating of these would result in the procreation of a race of degenerates.” Another opponent, noting that women represent more than half the population, predicted that allowing women to vote would mean that all our political leaders would soon be women. For the record, women now hold 17 percent of the seats in Congress.

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