I read a lot of medical blogs. I find the topic of medicine interesting, and they're frequently rather funny. Of course, having such an interest means you'll occasionally have topics like "Can cunnilingus cause intraabdominal free air?" screaming its way across your RSS reader! (incidentally, the answer is yes1)
Anyhow, that's not the purpose of this post. One of the doc bloggers I follow is Doctor Wes, a cardiac electrophysiologist out of Illinois. He points out that doctors aren't allowed to own hospitals, because there's a risk of self-referring. However, insurance companies are allowed to, and indeed are starting to buy up whole hospital chains.
Talk about a conflict of interest! Dr. Wes points out that that this will eventually mean the end of independant private practices -- that because of that and the Accountable Care Act doctors will end up working directly for hospitals.
I really like my primary care doc, and trust him to make decisions in my best interest. That's the nice thing about independence, right? I don't know how much I'll trust him if he's working directly for the insurance company.
More important, however, is that this further increases the power that bureaucrats have over our healthcare decisions. They already have a financial motivation to deny us care; how much more will they have once they own the hospital too?
Then again, isn't denial of care that the whole purpose of Obamacare?
1 No blowjob jokes, ok?