Unless you’re in favor of a fully nationalized health-care system, the president’s health-care reform law is a massive mistake. It will amplify all the big drivers of overconsumption and excessive pricing: “Why not, it’s free?” reimbursement; “The more I do, the more I get” provider payment; and all the defensive medicine the trial bar’s ingenuity can generate.
All claims made for it were false. It will add trillions to the federal deficit. It will lead to a de facto government takeover of health care faster than most people realize, and as millions of Americans are added to the Medicaid rolls and millions more employees (including, watch for this, workers of bankrupt state governments) are dumped into the new exchanges.
Many of us governors are hoping for either a judicial or legislative rescue from this impending disaster, and recent court decisions suggest there’s a chance of that. But we can’t count on a miracleâthat’s only permitted in Washington policy making. We have no choice but to prepare for the very real possibility that the law takes effect in 2014.
If there’s to be a train wreck, we governors would rather be spectators than conductors. But if the federal government is willing to reroute the train to a different, more productive track, we are here to help.