What a Gorsuch Supreme Court appointment could mean to healthcare
Paul Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Redirect Health, says the SCOTUS will play a big role in decisions that will emerge from repeal and replace efforts, which will impact doctors, hospitals, employers, insurance companies and the insured.
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“Those issues will include antitrust issues involving doctors and hospitals, the amount of funds available by Medicare and Medicaid (House v. Burwell), and funds necessary to pay doctors and hospitals,” he says. “Further, we’re likely to see cases involving private employers’ abilities to go around insurance companies with self-insurance rules available under ERISA.”
The impact on PCPs
Angood notes that physicians are by nature highly altruistic and patient-centered but often cautious, standards-driven decision-makers with clinical care delivery.
“Physicians are also risk-averse, and so with a predominantly conservative appointee, the altruistic drive to improve compassionate patient care with decisions around abortion and end-of-life decisions will become stifled to some degree,” he says. “Nobody wants to become engaged in example legal cases unnecessarily.”
Additionally, he notes, for those patients in their child-bearing ages, physicians will likely develop a degree of caution in their advice or suggestions on what is optimal for the patient, their family and a potential future child.
Morton Tavel, MD, clinical professor emeritus of medicine for Indiana University School of Medicine, knows that Gorsuch is on the record as being an opponent of physician aid in dying, but says he has no business entering into a subject about which he has little knowledge.
Not everyone thinks that the nominee will have great impact on healthcare going forward.