By Attorney Jonathan Emord
July 12, 2010
The Health Care Reform law is destined to make universally applicable the coverage criteria used by Medicare for Medicare beneficiaries. That is particularly bad news for physicians who value their independent professional judgment, and it is disastrous for patients who expect their physicians to cater to their interests rather than the insurance carrier’s. The President’s bill makes monopolies out of health insurers, makes them proxies for government “qualified” services, and replaces physician judgment with health carriers’ decisions concerning the level, degree, nature, and quality of care to be afforded patients.
The Health Care Reform law mandates use of “qualified” plans. A qualified plan is one that provides a coverage menu that matches federal requirements. Those coverage criteria are already specified by Medicare. The insurance companies administer the Medicare program and serve as proxies for the government. By 2014 all major health insurers in the United States will effectively employ these same coverage criteria for all Americans.