Ezekiel Emanuel is No Expert

It really irritates me that someone who has been incredibly wrong on the Obamacare issue can still be taken seriously anymore. Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the architects of Obamacare and Rahm Emanuel’s brother, has argued firmly for years that Obamacare will revolutionize the healthcare market and lower costs. Now that the actual hard data has come in, and that data has shown that Obamacare costs are actually rising substantially, Emanuel does this sort of backpedaling on the issue that is absolutely ridiculous.

In an article earlier this month, Emanuel discussed “The Coming Shock in Healthcare Increases.” It must’ve been a shock to him and all the rest of the so-called experts who implemented this albatross of legislation without any understanding of real-world impact — how could costs do anything except skyrocket with all the provisions and regulations contained within the bill?

Now, this expert admits that prices are rising, and will continue to rise, “without further action.” What does he propose? More government intervention:

“Experts from across the ideological spectrum agree that the key to long-term cost control is to pay doctors and hospitals in a way that rewards cost savings and quality. Such payment reforms would move Medicare and private payers away from paying a fee for each service—which encourages doctors to order unnecessary and even harmful tests and procedures.

The Obama administration recently announced a laudable goal: 50% of Medicare payments will be made under new payment models by 2018. But to reach this goal, the administration must change tactics and use the authority given to it under the law to rapidly expand payment reforms.”

Because the government has been both correct and efficient with regard to Obamacare so far? The entire program from the start, including the rollout, website, pricing, and exchanges has been one giant colossal failure.

As if it couldn’t get any worse, Emanuel goes on to discuss an Obamacare program called “Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)” (created by more “experts”), which Emanuel begrudgingly admits has been an utter failure so far:

“While many reforms are being tested, the administration’s main focus has been on creating “accountable care organizations.” ACOs are groups of medical providers that are rewarded for achieving savings on their total spending while improving quality.

The results so far are less than encouraging. Several studies found that ACOs achieved minimal savings after two years. This is not unexpected. Investing in technology, hiring nurses and changing the way care is delivered is complex and takes time to implement effectively. But we don’t yet have evidence that ACOs can reduce costs substantially.

The bigger problem is scale. In the advanced ACO program—which penalizes health-care providers for overspending—13 of 32 participating groups dropped out. In the other ACO program—which rewards organizations for underspending but does not penalize them for excessive spending—the number of new participants is falling, and more than half of the participants are now deciding whether to renew.”

So when the people who are actively involved in healthcare — the healthcare providers — decline to participate in a half-baked scheme cooked up by the Obama Administration to lower costs, does it signal to any of the “experts” that maybe they really aren’t “experts” at all? Of course not! Emanuel instead proposes yet another government “reform” idea: Medicare bundling. He goes on to explain how this new program idea is wonderful and perfect and the solution to all of our current health care cost problems. Pinky swear.

He ends his ridiculous article with an ominous plea to his readers: “Time is running out. If Mr. Obama doesn’t act soon to control costs, escalating costs may ultimately threaten the sustainability of his coverage expansion—and his entire health-reform legacy.”

Mr. Obama’s bill has singlehandedly destroyed the healthcare system in this country. The last thing we need is more government meddling and fiddling with programs, for Mr. Obama to again “act soon to control costs.”

The only thing Emanuel is correct on is the need to bend cost curves down. But his solution — more government and more experts and more programs — is utterly incorrect. Tort reform and health savings accounts are the only way to achieve cost savings. Obamacare did neither, and now the entire healthcare industry is worse than before. Emanuel has proven to be anything but an expert, only a cheerleader for a failed policy. Why are we still listening to him and his ideas?

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