by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
California has found a novel way to save money on Obamacare patients — punish hospitals that provide too much care. How much is too much? That’s up to the bureaucrats. They have decreed, for example, that hospitals whose percentage of C-sections exceeds 23.9 percent for “low-risk” births will be purged from the provider network. WBUR quotes an official from the state’s Obamacare exchange as follows: “We’ve told health plans that by the end of 2019, we want networks to only include hospitals that have achieved that target.” Similarly arbitrary goals have been set for X-rays, MRIs, and CTs involving back pain.
The state official in question, Dr. Lance Lang, is the chief medical officer for the exchange. It goes without saying, of course, that the good doctor discusses the targets as if they are part of a quality initiative rather than a money-saving scheme. “It’s a quality improvement project… but with a deadline.” …
… Once upon a time, doctors and patients determined “the right kind of care” without the interference of government apparatchiks. That era ended with Obamacare.