Providers: Obamacare's cost-saving system 'unworkable' 

This just came over the AP wire last night:

President Barack Obama's main idea for getting quality health care at less cost was in jeopardy Wednesday after key medical providers called his administration's initial blueprint so complex it's unworkable.

Just over a month ago, the administration released long-awaited draft regulations for "accountable care organizations," networks of doctors and hospitals that would collaborate to keep Medicare patients healthier and share in the savings with taxpayers. Obama's health care overhaul law envisioned quickly setting up hundreds of such networks around the county to lead a bottom-up reform of America's bloated health care system.

But in an unusual rebuke, an umbrella group representing premier organizations such as the Mayo Clinic wrote the administration Wednesday saying that more than 90 percent of its members would not participate, because the rules as written are so onerous it would be nearly impossible for them to succeed.

If you read the whole article (which I recommend), you'll see that the providers' objection is not over some small provision, but basically the entire thing. Many of these providers had been sympathetic to Obamacare, so it's not just a minor hang-up in that sense, either.

One of Obamacare's main goals is to cut costs -- President Obama has said so repeatedly. Because Medicare is such a big dog in health care, and the government's single largest toe-hold in the industry, Obama was counting on using it to shape providers' behavior in the direction of cutting costs. So far, their efforts do not seem to be appreciated.

This initiative is all the more important because Obama did not go for the low-hanging fruit in medical cost-savings -- malpractice reform.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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