The Spending Caps Cometh

Remember when all those crazy Right Wing bloggers were complaining that Obamacare would lead to price caps and healthcare rationing? Ha ha ha. We were all so … oh. Turns out a bunch of the Obamacare architects are working on the next step.

The most far-reaching proposal is to have states, with the encouragement of federal grants, put in place a mechanism to set overall health-cost caps, covering both public and private spending.

Massachusetts, having discovered that its Romney-instituted, Obamacare-like version of reform has been great at extending coverage, less good at controlling costs, has recently adopted such limits. Maryland has capped hospital spending.

Some of the other proposals — competitive bidding on medical equipment, allowing more work from NPs and reigning in malpractice — are reasonable. But the keystone is capping healthcare expenditures, with caps set by “independent council composed of providers, payers, businesses, consumers, and economists”: the usual gang that will either be controlled by special interests or rendered impotent by Congress.

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