Monday, October 1, 2012

31. Accountable Care Organizations

31.  Accountable Care Organizations


Another way Obamacare plans to control costs is through the establishment of Accountable Care Organizations, ACOs.  These are essentially HMOs on steroids.  These ACOs will centralize care of a patient within a large organization, similar in many ways to Kaiser, but with important differences.  A hospital or insurance company will control the ACO and providers such as doctors, physical therapists, laboratory services, will all be under their control.   The government will apportion an amount of money to the ACO and the administrator of that ACO (the hospital or insurer) will determine, based on “quality measures” determined by the federal government, who will be rewarded with a bonus and who will be punished. In plain terms, this means that your doctor will be rewarded for NOT performing tests or NOT giving expensive treatments, and may be financially punished if they don’t play along.   To me, this is not only warped, it’s unethical. 

In the 1990s Hillary Clinton proposed the same scheme and, even though her plan never became law, many healthcare groups around the country enacted her proposals in anticipation of what is now known as “Hillarycare”.  It took us 10 years to recover.   First we had hiring freezes, and then we ended up with specialty physician shortages.  It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.

I guess the reason for that is that back then, doctors weren’ t trained to withhold necessary care from their patients.  Every human life was considered valuable and sacred.  Unfortunately, medical schools have had 15 years to train new medical students to think otherwise.  Many of our medical schools have been indoctrinating our future physicians to think more about the “collective”, society as a whole.  Many medical schools have even altered the Hippocratic Oath so that it focuses more on social justice than on integrity to the individual patient.  Is this the kind of training you want for your physician? Someone who cares more about what best for some concept of “society” than what’s best for you as a person?

Let’s just hope that we can get this law repealed before the next generation of indoctrinated medical professionals enters the workforce.  Folks, the progressive movement has been trying to nationalize healthcare in America for about 90 years.  This may be our last chance to stop it.

(Note: This commentary is by Dr. Jill Vecchio.)

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