29 March 2012

The Sonny Side of Government Regulation


Dear Dr. Bones,

Our old pal Her Son the Millionaire is not to be relied on for mere facts, but what interests me here

Massachusetts legislators recently proposed requiring doctors to accept government-controlled insurance rates as a condition of retaining their state medical licenses, regardless of whether or not the doctors lost money on each patient. (This has not yet been enacted into law.)

is not exactly factual. By Sonny’s own account, our MA’s boys have not voted it yet. Considering how overrun we are with quacks and quack-based profitarianism, I doubt it ever will be. General Coakley has noticed the two-tier payment plan, whereby Mass General gets reimbursed at the Sonny Hsieh or platinum-plated level, and our own humble joint down the street gets only about half as much (I believe it is) for exactly the same procedures. Or possibly for "exactly the same procedures." Galen knows best.

In any case, if a comparatively small number of Krankenh√§user cannot be kept in line, the chances of ever actually enforcing the above proposed outrage against the True Freedumb of thousands of free-lance (or Petty Biz) M. D.’s are slight. Dr. Poujade is safe enough, I betcha, especially if his bills are as unintelligible as the ones we just opened four of this morning. ¡O happy day!

On the philosophical or critical front, one wonders a little why Sonny does not go the whole hog an’ propose that quackery be dislicensed altogether. ¡Surely Caveat Emptor is a far more reliable blue shield an’ buckler than anything Taxachusetts or the evil Fedguv could ever offer! So then, ¿Why not a strict Jeffersonian Wall of Separation of Hospital and State?

Not a hard question, probably. Sonny likes the idea that Gen. Coakley and the gang keep his clients’ competition down to a reasonable level.

Like most Chambermaids of Commerce, Sonny’s devotion to the AEIdeology is a hit-or-miss affair. Though deregulation is indeed fort mauvais compared to demand-side regulation, steps taken by The Wicked State to assist unworthy consumer scum, yet SUPPLY-side regulation--steps, that is, prudently taken to ensure that "highly-trained [pill]cast specialists" are properly recognized an’ incentivatified--is better than either.

Pretty obvious once you think of thinking of it, that one is.

Happy days.

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