September 2, 2009

Revisiting the Wheelchair Clause

Justin Katz

An interesting comment was just made to my August 19 post looking at strange changes to language concerning the purchase of wheelchairs that the current healthcare "reform" would make:

The supplier will no longer be able to get the lump sum payment for basic powered wheelchairs and have to wait 13 months for their 105%, it's bad for cash flow and only the largest suppliers will be willing to provide these chairs, if any. It will also push suppliers into trying to justify more expensive "complex rehabilitative power driven wheelchairs so they don't have to wait 13 months for their 5% profit.

The end user gets to make this decision, by the way, and it really makes no difference to that person how the supplier makes or does not make money... until they can't find a provider because medicare reimbursement has driven everyone out of the market.

So, rather than one predictable and undesirable result of government involvement (rationing), it looks like another (market restrictions favoring large incumbents).