It’s probably not a great sign when your lab partner dooms your experiment to failure. It’s even less great news when your lab partner is a Democratic Senator named Max Baucus (who was one of the five Democrats confused about his responsibility to his constituents in yesterday’s background check vote) and you’re Barack Obama and your lab experiment is healthcare reform.
“I just see a huge train wreck,” Senator Max Baucus of Montana told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee, an oversight panel that he chairs.
Baucus is waxing eloquent about his co-project because last week, President Obama released his $3.77 trillion budget for fiscal 2014, which included a request for extra funding to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. So now’s the best time to call most of it into question. Not mentioned by Baucus, of course, are his ties to both the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries. (Fun Fact: Max Baucus has been one of the largest beneficiaries in the Senate of campaign contributions from those industries.)
That $15 Billion Price Tag Came Out of Nowhere: “Groups on both sides of the healthcare debate are lobbying Congress to scale back a tax in President Obama’s healthcare law that could end up costing the states billions of dollars.” [TheHill.com]
Let the Computer Take Care of You. What Could Go Wrong?: “Remote patient monitoring (RPM) technologies help patients retain their independence and avert further health complications. These technologies can also be a vital tool for governments to curb spiralling healthcare expenditures. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.healthcare.frost.com), European Market for Remote Patient Monitoring Applications, finds that the market earned revenues of $616.4 million in 2012 and estimates this to reach $831.0 million in 2018.” [press release]
Those Roper Guys Are Rolling in Cash: “Diversified manufacturer Roper Industries Inc is in advanced talks to buy Managed Health Care Associates, a privately held healthcare services provider, for about $1 billion, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.” [Reuters]
SCIENCE! Science Will Save Us!: “What’s the future of big data in healthcare? According to the McKinsey Global Institute, using data to better predict the healthcare needs of the U.S. population could save between $300 and $450 billion.” [Forbes.com]