There was an interesting article yesterday about knee replacement surgery. Before you tune out, this post has a far more important message.
In a recent study conducted by Peter Cram, an internist at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, we learned that Medicare paid for 243,802 knee replacements in 2010. This is in contrast to 93,230 in 1991. At $15,000 per knee, this amounts to about $9 billion of Medicare’s $550 billion 2010 expenditure.
According to an editorial released with the study, knee replacement surgery could exceed 3.5 million by 2030. This is not a surprise given that more and more “baby boomers” are becoming eligible for Medicare each year…and we are only in the second of 18 years of “baby boomers”. That era is defined as those born between 1946 and 1964.
But, to the point of this post.
‘Ultimately there’s going to be [only] some number of these we can afford,’ Dr. Cram said. But how to limit the procedure or who should get it will be a ‘really contentious debate,’ he said. [emphasis supplied]
That may well be the understatement of the year.
Under Obamacare, an Independent Payment Advisory Board will make that decision. And, unlike current Medicare, Medicare supplement insurance, or Medicare Advantage, there is no appeal from an IPAB decision. After all, the IPAB must cut some $716,000 billion from the funds seniors have paid into Medicare to pay for Obamacare.
There are so many places to go with a conclusiary paragraph with this post.
Soon, only the rich will be able to get health care in this country. Everyone else will be able to get a meaningless health insurance card.
What is your conclusion?