Although there are some positive provisions in the current House Tri-Committee bill – including insurance for all and payment reform demonstration projects – the proposed legislation misses the opportunity to help create higher-quality, more affordable health care for patients. In fact, it will do the opposite.
In general, the proposals under discussion are not patient focused or results oriented. Lawmakers have failed to use a fundamental lever – a change in Medicare payment policy – to help drive necessary improvements in American health care. Unless legislators create payment systems that pay for good patient results at reasonable costs, the promise of transformation in American health care will wither. The real losers will be the citizens of the United States.
Why does this matter? Because the Mayo Clinic is so often cited by President Obama, and by health care experts, as the model for providing high-quality health care at a relatively low cost. You can read more about how they do it here.
UPDATE: So how is this criticism being received by the Obama White House? It is not being disputed there, in part because this argument is pretty much the same one that OMB Director Peter Orszag is making about the House bill.