Obama ‘Care’ Begins– In Idaho
by William Norman Grigg
When the Regime sets prices, this is called “applied compassion.”
When producers organize to complain about price controls, and then freely decide not to offer their services at the artificially low price, this is called “a criminal conspiracy to fix prices.”
This is the central claim of the “consent decree” inflicted, at gunpoint, on a group of Idaho orthopedic surgeons by the Obama Regime – with the eager collaboration of the Idaho State Attorney General. Under the terms of that extorted agreement, it would be tantamount to a criminal offense for a doctor to complain to his peers about regulatory actions that may drive accomplished medical specialists out of business.
This is just one aspect of the multi-faceted ugliness on display in the federal crackdown on a group of Idaho orthopedic surgeons who rebelled against government-imposed price controls on medical treatment.
The Idaho Industrial Commission imposes the “fee schedule” for worker’s compensation claims. Rather than permitting the market to set prices for various treatment options, prices were set according to an abstruse formula called the “Resource-Based Value System” (RBVS).
As the Justice (sic) Department explained in a May 28 legal filing, the RBVS “uses a ‘relative value unit’ and a ‘conversion factor’ to determine physician payment. The relative value unit measures the resources necessary to perform a medical service…. The conversion factor is a set dollar amount, say $100. A physician’s payment for any medical service is generally calculated by multiplying the relative value unit by the conversion factor. For example, a physician would receive $500 for a medical service with a relative value unit of 5 and a conversion factor of $100.”
As an assembly of quasi-divine bureaucratic beings, the Idaho Industrial Commission apparently determines the “relative value unit” and “conversion factor” for medical reimbursements through direct revelation.