Sometimes, you really just have to wonder how dumb some people are:
Last year, health care industry groups gave President Barack Obama’s reform plan the support it needed to become law. Now, those same groups are sweating over what might happen in the debt ceiling talks — because their fortunes might be about to change.
Critics of the reform often attack it as a collection of “backroom health care deals,” and Democrats did have an easier time passing it because powerful groups — like hospitals and the drug industry — endorsed the legislation, or at least agreed to hold their fire. Some of them did get rewarded for their help, by being spared from deeper cuts or other legislation they’ve opposed for years.
But no “deal” lasts forever, and now the groups that supported the reform law are keeping a nervous eye on what health care savings might become part of an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. Obama and congressional Democrats will be under pressure to show they’re really willing to “reduce the cost of health care spending and Medicare and Medicaid in the out-years,” as Obama put it at his June 29 press conference.
You can read the full article for the deals that were cut. The biggest hospitals were given supposed immunity from future budget cuts. Drug companies were told price fixing wouldn’t happen. The AMA — Jesus Christ, the AMA is run by fucking morons — actually believed the SGR cuts would be put off forever.
Now they are shocked, shocked! that the Democrats might stab them in the back and implement those policies anyway. Who could have predicted it? Well, I did:
I suspect the provider group in this bargain is the AMA—long the Benedict Arnold of the healthcare industry. My dad, and many other doctors, quit the AMA when they betrayed us in the 1980’s and 1990’s to go along with Medicare “reforms”, the primary effect of which was to fuck over doctors, especially GP’s. If the AMA supports this, I’m against it by default. They have never understood that, for doctors, making an agreement with the government is like making an agreement with the devil—in the end, they will just get screwed harder and deeper.
This is about, estimating conservatively, the 743 millionth time the AMA has gotten snookered by Congress. They never understand that once Congress gets what they want, they are going to lose interest in whatever it was, in the heat of the moment, they promised to give you ten years from now. To borrow a metaphor Jim used yesterday about Facebook (you should read that post; he’s justifiably proud of it :), Congress is like a horny teenager. They say they love you and promise to marry you one day. And then, the second you sleep with them, they disappear. They’ve gotten what they want; now you’re just a nuisance who won’t stop calling them.
During the debate over Obamacare, my dad sent a message to the American College of Surgeons asking why they were supporting it. When they said that they wanted to “be at the table” my dad told them that that was fine, but being at the table didn’t meal climbing onto it to be eaten. Looks like the Democrats are sharpening up their knives and mixing up the barbecue sauce.
What a surprise.