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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Pearlstein Nails Spendthrift Bluedogs

Pearlstein Nails Spendthrift Bluedogs

Wednesday, 02 June 2010 04:33
Steven Pealstein hits a homerun with his column today. He notes the efforts of the Blue Dog Democrats to increase payments to doctors under Medicare. These are the same folks who have gained notoriety in recent days for opposing the extension of jobless benefits and funding to support state Medicaid programs.
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written by izzatzo, June 02, 2010 7:43
Given the choice between protecting high-income docs and economically struggling patients, those courageous Blue Dogs sided with the docs.

The third choice, competition and what could have been a vibrant public option, is always off the table. That allows the AMA and many docs to smugly pronounce that they're leaving Medicare and Medicaid for the greener pastures of private insurance or rich patients on retainer fees where the market is already crowded for the wrong reasons, a surplus drawn by heavy market power.

In many places, private insurers maintain their monopoly power by buying out docs at such high reimbursement rates that other insurers are barred from entry, which allows the monopolist insurer to act as gatekeeper and cram those provider costs onto consumers with no fear of competition from other insurers. It's monopoly providers feeding on monopoly insurers and no one dare break the gilded circle.

But competition and choice would be socialism, as preached by commie pinko Dean Baker. Touch doc salaries and the whole goddamn country would be emptied of docs as they pour over the borders for better opportunities where the cost of health care is so much higher.

Stupid liberals.
written by Rachel, June 03, 2010 3:31
So there's someone else who is tough enough to brave the animosity of the doctors' lobby.

It might help, however, if more people knew that it is precisely because of doctors' monopoly powers that medical school is so expensive. It's precisely because med students know they can pass on the costs to the captive market that they don't bother to shop around.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.