Top Five Reasons Doctors Don’t Recommend ObamaCare

The five top reasons ObamaCare is bad for doctors (ht: Heritage’s Foundry blog):

  1. Adds more patients to Medicaid. (On average, Medicaid physician payments are only 56 percent of what private insurance pays).
  2. Leaves the flawed Medicare payment formula on the books. Every year, Congress passes a last minute “doc fix” to kick the can down the road. Obamacare does nothing to solve it.
  3. Creates a new board to further cut provider payments. Obamacare uses the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB — or “death panel” as its known to its friends), a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats, to contain cost growth in Medicare by finding ways to cut spending to meet a new budget target.
  4. Exacerbates future physician shortage.  One survey found that Obamacare is motivating 43 percent of doctors to move up their retirement within the next five years. This will intensify the already existing doctor shortage.
  5. Destroys the doctor-patient relationship. Obamacare’s massive amount of red tape and regulations will tear apart the doctor-patient relationship.  A recent doctor survey found that 67 percent of doctors surveyed said Obamacare would not improve the doctor-patient relationship.

Pre-emptive whining over ObamaCare

Mainstream pundits continue their all-out pre-emptive attack on a hypothetical Supreme Court opinion against ObamaCare.   If the Court strikes down a single syllable of the law, they warn, the public will see this as a “political” decision and the legitimacy of the Court will be tarnished forever.  Juan Williams repeats this idiotic narrative in a column proclaiming: “Team Obama is right to conclude there is fertile political ground to be plowed in lashing out against the right-wing activism of the Roberts Court.” (ht: Ed Whelan at NRO Bench Memos).

More pathetic is the piece by Ezra Klein as WaPo griping about how hard this whole ObamaCare thing is on . . . law professors.  He quotes Akhil Reed Amar (an otherwise solid, albeit liberal scholar):

“If they decide this by 5-4, then yes, it’s disheartening to me, because my life was a fraud. Here I was, in my silly little office, thinking law mattered, and it really didn’t. What mattered was politics, money, party, and party loyalty.”

Cry me a river, Akhil.  He knows perfectly well (as do many scholars, such as Georgetown’s Randy Barnett) that there are sound constitutional reasons to strike down all or part of the Affodable Care Act.  The idea that the Court’s legitimacy faces some unique danger, after 70+ years of treating the Constitution as a decorative prop, is absurd. 

Even dumber is the idea that if the Court strikes down ObamaCare by a “narrow” 5-4 vote, the public will be outraged.  Does anybody seriously believe that the public (which overwhelmingly wants the individual mandate struck down) is going to quibble about the vote margin?

Obama Invokes Executive Privilege

President Obama has invoked “executive privilege” to head off a contempt of Congress citation against Eric Holder for failing to produce documents relating to operation “Fast and Furious,” the bizarre DOJ initiative to send thousands of firearms to Mexican drug cartels to see what they would do with them (kill people, as it happens).

Over on the Member Feed, ConservativeWanderer helpfully reminds us of the NYT editorial blasting Bush for invoking the privilege to block congressional subpoenas over  the firing of 8 federal prosecutors. But it wasn’t just the Times, then-Senator Barack Obama also attacked Bush for “try [ing] to hide behind executive privilege every time there’s something a little shaky that’s taking place.”

Don’t hold your breath for a NYT editorial against the Obama/Holder privilege, but a court challenge may be in order. Under existing precedent (including the famous US v. Nixon), executive privilege is not impregnable. Heritage’s Todd Gaziano has a good post highlighting the relevant law, which I summarize:

First, executive privilege cannot be invoked at all if the purpose is to shield wrongdoing – that’s what did Nixon in. Second, Congress is entitled to at least some documents and other information that indicate who the ultimate decision maker was for this disastrous program and why these decisions were made. Third, even a proper invocation of the privilege must yield to other branches’ need for information in some cases. And lastly, the President is required when invoking executive privilege to try to accommodate the other branches’ legitimate information needs in some other way.

If Democrats contend that executive privilege must yield to Congress’s desire to investigate the firing of 8 prosecutors, how can they argue that Congress does not have an even stronger need to know the facts about Fast and Furious? Who knows, but they obviously will make that argument.  House Republicans have to challenge the administration on this — it’s the only hope of getting Fast and Furious the infamy it deserves.

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