One of the biggest fears Americans have about the expanding role of government in health care is that bureaucrats — not doctors and patients — will make decisions about what medical care they will, or more likely will not, get.
They should be afraid. It’s happening now and getting worse.
Government already decides what treatments public programs like Medicare and Medicaid will pay for. But government is getting more and more involved in micromanaging medical care, making sweeping decisions that can’t possibly take into account a patient’s unique needs. This runs completely counter to the trend in medical practice toward personalized care.
Here are two recent examples of the trend toward greater government intrusion into medical decisions involving actions by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that runs these two gigantic programs. One proposed new CMS rule involves treatment for patients receiving kidney dialysis, and another decision involves “competitive bidding” for medical devices. Read more