Medicare rationing starts New Year’s Day

Andrew Quinlan:

Free market proponents have long argued that government involvement in health care ultimately leads to rationing. Bureaucrats at the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) are now proving them right by allowing partnered insurance companies to interfere with the recommendations of doctors without safeguards or patient protections.

The new policy, dubbed “fail first,” permits insurers to force Medicare patients to initially try a cheaper treatment course, only paying for their doctor’s original plan if the first treatment fails.

This new “policy” raises a range of troubling questions, including:

• How many patients will suffer painful or adverse side effects from cheaper medicines when insurance companies overrule doctors to pad their bottom line.



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