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.