Over the last couple of weeks there have been two actions by the Congress which, if anyone had been paying attention, should convince us that there is no hope of containing the growth of healthcare costs within the constraints of the present healthcare system. The first was the annual (or nearly annual) ritual of passing the “doc fix”. That is the postponing of the imposition of the reduction in reimbursement rates that the Congress determined were necessary 15 years ago and which they have dutifully postponed taking effect ever since.
The second is the abolition of the cuts to Medicare Advantage that were enacted into law as part of the PPACA and which, in theory, would help to pay for it.
We’ll never cut costs as long as any reduction in benefits or reimbursement rates might result in political repercussions.
But cut we must because increasing healthcare costs are bankrupting state and local governments.
It might be the case that some future Congress will prevent the load of the expansion of Medicaid from falling on the states as it’s scheduled to do. I doubt it but it’s possible. IMO it will be hard to justify without nationalizing Medicaid which I find difficult to imagine happening.
That still won’t be enough to save state and local governments. We need healthcare reform.