Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Beebe Letter Not Really About Obamacare

My take on the fast-breaking and much talked about letter to HHS Secretary K. Sebelius: It's not about Arkansas being the first to implement Obamacare. It's just Blue Cross and State Government ganging up to force care providers to accept paltry reimbursement rates. He throws a few nods at Obamacare to get the waivers from the feds necessary to align pricing.

Beebe does not want doctors dumping Medicaid patients because they can get more money seeing patients with private insurance. Private insurance wants to get away with paying as little as Medicaid is paying. Normally you can't do that, but Blue Cross is the 800 lb gorilla in the business. That makes it easier to tag-team with government to dictate provider fee schedules than if there were eight or nine viable providers.

State government and Blue Cross want to tag-team the doctors and hospitals, and want Medicare to jump in on their side too.

It's not Obamacare, even if its still wrong for a whole different set of reasons.

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