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‘Socialized medicine’s’ blank check to private sector

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Here’s a superb review of how Medicare and Medicaid fueled a gigantic expansion in for-profit medicine even as some blasted the two programs for being “socialized medicine.”

Consider such industry sectors as  hospitals, physician groups, managed-care insurers, home health, drug manufacturers and devicemakers.

As Steven Ross Johnson writes in Modern Healthcare:
“One big reason the two programs powerfully seeded healthcare expansion is that political forces—ideologically and economically motivated—blocked the government from establishing effective cost controls. That meant taxpayers essentially wrote providers, insurers, suppliers and beneficiaries a blank check. This quieted initial opposition to the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid by making the programs profitable for private-market players. But the lack of cost controls, such as the global budgets used in other advanced countries, has created long-term financial headaches.”

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