Why The Reimbursement Fight Matters

Paul Krugman says the Democrats’ success in pushing a bill that would redirect funds from the Medicare Advantage program (which provides generous subsidies to insurance companies) into higher reimbursement rates for doctors shows that progressives have a winning political strategy that could turn into universal health care next year. Jonathan Cohn agrees also citing the importance of measures that aim to cleave the doctor lobby away from the insurance insurance.

But on the other hand, Cohn cautions “In the long run, no health care reform can succeed without doing something about cost and quality — which will mean changing the way we pay for medical care and, in some cases, paying doctors less.” Realistically, I think this means that even if progressives in some sense “win” a big health care fight next year, it’s still going to leave us with a system that leaves a lot to be desired.