The Sceptic has discovered a video of Dr. Jonathan Gruber at the 2011 Connected Health Symposium on Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Under ObamaCare, ACOs provide “managed care” to some Medicare patients, and are basically a new version of the old HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) which fell out of Public favor due to delays and denials of service. In this video, Dr. Gruber admits that patients in ObamaCare ACOs will have a lower level of health care than what they used to receive.
This video shows what we already know – that patients under ObamaCare will experience a reduction in their level of care, but it also gives a glimpse into the Wonkacracy of the Grubers of the world. Dr. Gruber lamely expresses his sincere “hope” that the reduced level of care will not affect the health of the patients, but, since his focus is cost reduction, that is not really his concern. Wow, Dr. Gruber, you are such an objective professional.
Dr. Gruber believes devoutly in managed care systems like ObamaCare, so he takes great pains to explain that HMO’s didn’t really fail, and were actually quite beneficial, because they saved employers money on insurance premiums. The real problem was that Americans were just … you guessed it … incapable of understanding that … duh … they were actually getting higher wages as the result of employer savings on health care – just too stupid, I guess.
Dr. Gruber is quite dismissive about the “patient backlash” against managed care, which he attributes to everyone “getting upset” about health care because of a Jack Nicholson movie. I guess he means “One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest,” but that was made back in the 70’s. Perhaps he’s conflating the initial patient pushback on HMOs with the backlash against HillaryCare that occurred in the ’90’s. But, anyway, the gist of his dismissal is his typical argument that the American Public acts in a nonsensical manner where health care is concerned.
Finally, Dr. Gruber opines that ObamaCare’s Accountable Care Organizations face the same challenge as managed care HMOs (i.e. patient rejection), unless the Government visits “pain” on the patient to force him/her to join an accountable care organization. In fact, our Government has gone beyond mere incentivizing with pain…
This year, hundreds of thousands of Seniors (including a friend of mine) received notices that they had been involuntarily enrolled in an ACO because their doctor had joined one! To find out more about ACOs, you can read my post on ‘ObamaCare’s Medical Walmarts’
By the way, “Accountable” is just health wonk code for reducing patient access to health care. Why? Because, left to their own devices, patients will use “more than their fair share” of health care, and traditional non-ACO providers will aid them in their wasteful practices.
The job of the ACO, and, ultimately, all of ObamaCare is, in fact, to cut back on the use of health care resources by individual patients so it can be made available to society as deemed optimal by the bureaucrats. This means a reduction in the level of each individual patient’s access to care from what they received previously. So I will leave you with Jon Gruber’s question from the video – “Will patients be willing to do this?”
Personally, before I answer “yes” to that question, I need to hear a compelling argument that my reduction in care will actually be used to help others, and not be lost in the bureaucracy, and I need to hear what we never have – an honest admission that we are being asked to make sacrifices, and a heartfelt appeal to our better natures, rather than the deceitful propaganda that we have been fed about keeping our current level of care, getting lower consumer costs, saving $trillions, etc.
Stay tuned … there is more to come from this same video regarding deductibles.