Monday, June 27, 2011

What's next from HHS?

One of the most significant reforms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, is the expansion of Medicaid to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Since the bill's passage, many studies have surfaced showing poor health care access and outcomes for patients with Medicaid.

We've written recently on a study by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that found children receiving health care coverage through Medicaid were far more likely to be denied by a specialist than children with private insurance.

Now the government wants to prove the same thing. The New York Times reported yesterday that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will begin a new project posing secretly as patients to determine how difficult it is to get access to care when on government health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare.

The question remains, why is HHS conducting a study so similar to that of the NEJM and others?

Thomas Lifson of American Thinker surmises, "It is all too easy to see where this is leading. Having expanded demand without addressing the supply of doctors, and paying less for that expanded demand than market prices, the Obama administration needs a fall guy, and doctors fit the bill."

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