Cry wolf on everything?

When the balance of forces shifts, and groups like Advamed try to claim they were always pro-reform, their current actions are going to come back to bite them.

Stephen Ubl, president of AdvaMedPatient Access To Durable Medical Equipment May Be Threatened By Competitive Acquisition Program.

That's the headline on a recent press release from AdvaMed, the medical device industry lobby.

In it, President Stephen Ubl (right) complains that if Medicare and Medicaid go forward on competitive bids for things like prosthetics, patients won't get their first-choice device.

Well, yes. But I have the same problem with Costco. For months they didn't have the brand of apple juice my son liked, and it's been a year since they had his favorite beef jerky. So we adjusted and made do.

It's a knee-jerk response to oppose any medical payment reform, no matter how modest, no matter how simple. I think this can be counter-productive.

More important, it points out how Ubl's members have not given their customers any of the benefits of Moore's Law. They brag only that they're not raising prices, much. Even as the cost of electronic components continues to fall.

It's a cry wolf syndrome. You fight tooth-and-nail against any reform, no matter how modest, and you set yourself up for a fall. Then a big, Earth-shaking coalition proposes what amounts to an earthquake on your members and you have no credibility with which to respond.

When the balance of forces shifts, and groups like Advamed try to claim they were always pro-reform, their current actions are going to come back to bite them.

It's a bit like Hillary Clinton's claims to have been under fire in Bosnia. Once the video came out, her campaign's admission of a past "misstatement" just rang hollow. She is suffering from that now.

Advamed will suffer for this later.

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