President Obama has indicated he might be willing to drop the wildly unpopular public option. But is that enough?
John S. Hoff, a former deputy assistant secretary in the Department of Health and Human Services (2001-2005), says that Obamacare would still be a nightmarish world of government restrictions. Hoff explains:
“The government would determine what interventions ‘work’ and are included in plans’ coverage. This would include a judgment on what is cost effective—does a treatment justify its cost? The government would put a monetary value on the number of years a patient’s life is extended or improved. Would everyone’s life be valued the same? …
“The government’s determination of covered benefits and cost effectiveness would determine what care patients receive. The financial impact of the regulation of insurers would determine the number of people who go into medicine and nursing and thus whether there are manpower shortages, the speed with which patients can see a doctor they want, their access to hospitals, how modern the hospital is, and the distribution of doctors and hospitals.”
When the president “belittles and dismisses” those who say his healthcare plans would lead to greater government involvement, he is being “cynically misleading or naively delusional,” according to Hoff.