The court can’t stop the health-care revolution
By David Ignatius,
Listening to the lawyers talking nonstop last week about health care gave me a headache, so I decided to consult one of the nation’s top doctors. He offered a real-world diagnosis of what’s happening in health care — and a reminder of how much it’s changing, regardless of what the Supreme Court decides about Obamacare.
My medical guru is Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, chief executive of Cleveland Clinic, a $6 billion network that’s one of the biggest and best providers in the country. Cosgrove explained how the health system is being transformed by basic economic pressures that predated the new law and will continue, regardless.
Talking with Cosgrove, you get the sense that the political (and now, legal) version of the health-care debate is in many ways a distraction from what matters most, which is how care is actually delivered to patients. And that’s changing, inexorably, because of underlying cost pressures.
The Supremes could throw Obamacare out the window, and we’d still have a revolution in health-care delivery that promises better treatment for Americans, at lower cost. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will make this revamped system accessible to more Americans, so I’m for it on equity grounds. But even if the mandate to buy insurance disappears, hospitals and docs will keep moving into the new world of care.