We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
You take the king's money, you play the king's tune. They may
be forced to accept the price control, but they certainly cannot be forced to accept the patients. No Medicare/Medicaid patients? No problem!
As many problems it will cause my aging parents in their pursuit of health care, I vicariously celebrate the backlash of doctors refusing new medicare patients. Isn't that what free market protest is all about? If you cannot get what you demand for your services, either you quit selling those services or accept whatever the price the market will support. At least, that is what I learned in school.
So soon, the main doctors seeing new medicare patients will be those in indentured servitude to the government at low wages, working off their school loans for 10 years.
If you accept the terms, you provide the services. If you don't accept the terms, you pull up your shingle and go elsewhere. What is so complicated about that? Right to work...take it or leave it.
Cilla Mitchell, Galveston Texas
If I decide to drop medicare, it will not be because I am colluding with other doctors. I have no interest in labor union style behavior. I will drop Medicare because I do not wish to accept their reimbursement as payment for my services in full. To force me to do so would be a violation of the 13th Amendment, not that that means anything to the thugs in Washington.
What we are seeing here is the strategy to deal with access. Simply put: many physicians do not take Medicare or Medicaid patients because their reimbursements are so poor they do not cover the costs of providing the care. Obamacare pushes large number of patients into the already-bankrupt Medicaid system -- which will have to respond by drastically lowering reimbursements even further, increasing the number of physicians who will be financially unable see these patients -- creating a huge access problem (lots of patients with "coverage", no docs to see them).
The government's solution: bring antitrust actions against the "colluding" doctors, threatening them with heavy fines, enormous legal costs, or jail. Less onerous, although just as coercive, is to tie acceptance of government-mandated fees with medical licensing.
I have always been against unionization of physicians (because it presents huge ethical problems), but I believe this will be inevitable ultimately if physicians are to survive financially. When auto workers "collude" by refusing to work when they deem their wages too low, we call this a "strike", and praise the system as protecting the "working man". When physicians refuse to accept absurdly low payment for their services from insurance companies or government, this is called "anti-trust" and they are greedy, corrupt, and criminals. Something wrong with this picture.
And as for "pulling up your shingle and moving elsewhere": to where? Canada? Mexico? Offshore clinics? This is the Federal government going after physicians on federal health care payments. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide...
A Richard Epstein podcast on the rule of law, with the idea that you ought not to get more rights against the other guy by combining forces than you have already without combining, and how the argument was lost.
I agree with Dr. Bob above. The government will force Doctors into "colluding" in order to survive. Many docs are already running to become hospital employees as a form of protection against government-won't work.
I have been hearing rumblings of medical cruise ships. Have your surgery in international waters and no U.S. laws apply. Docs would do 2 week tours and make as much as they do in full practice now. Cash for service and no huge staff fighting insurance companies....
I know the docs in this suit and know them to be fine doctors. Why is this not viewed as collusion by the payers against the docs?
"Easy. Become a cash for service doctor. Post prices, and open for business."
which would be illegal under a government controlled healthcare system.
Doctors will be licensed professionals, licenses granted by government panels under the condition doctors only treat patients at government controlled prices and covered under government controlled plans.
Inevitably, all doctors will be enslaved by the New World Order (Read: Obama Fascist) government. No take the shitty wages of government care, no license, no work. That's what happened most places with socialized medicine. Britain did just have to raise their salaries, as they were getting the bottom of the class of the 3rd tier schools from Zimbabwe and Pakistan (including those who were implicated in terror attacks!); by raising the pay, they were hoping to get some better quality docs, but who the HELL wants to work for the NHS?
Physicians will similarly get screwed here, salaries will plummet, doc shortages will skyrocket, and quality-of-care will go off the edge of the cliff. The good news, from the Berwickian side of things, is that more will die, especially those elderly, thereby helping with rationing. Is that hyperbole? Wait. Palin was right to talk about death panels, they are coming and much quicker than we think, now that Berwick, the Fully Insured for Life, the hypocritical PRICK BASTARD who hates life and loves the NHS, who was put in place by the lawless thug Obama, is on the move.
Make sure to get your suicide pills or method ready, because these folks are going to make you feel like you should just want to die and save them the favor of having to force the choice upon you. They should all burn in hell.