A few more developments and predictions for the year ahead
Some unusual predictions for what 2012 might bring
Happy New Year. Our first issue of 2012 contains a preview (p. 23) of the big issues and trends as seen by Modern Healthcare’s reporters. In our next issue on Jan. 9, our Washington bureau correspondents will analyze the outlook for healthcare policy and politics. While our staff has done some excellent work, there are some developments they may have missed. As a complement to their coverage, we offer these predictions based on recent trends:
Campaigning for re-election, President Barack Obama will hail his healthcare reform law and tell people they’ll really like it—somehow, someday, somewhere.
The U.S. Congress, whose public approval rating hits 0.5%, will continue to shun a permanent fix of the Medicare physician payment formula. It will avoid what now totals a 97.9% cut by passing an extension of the current system every Thursday except for Thanksgiving, when it will give doctors a free turkey.
Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street will declare his candidacy for president on the And-you-thought-those-Other-guys-were-mean Party ticket by stating that sick people are icky and that he doesn’t want to give up any of his garbage to subsidize their care.
Charity Alms Community Hospital will lose its tax-exempt status after it completes construction of its 103-story patient tower.
The U.S. Supreme Court will uphold the reform law’s individual insurance mandate but rule that the name Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is arbitrary, capricious and an unconstitutional mouthful.
Republican lawmakers will filibuster against the nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick as permanent CMS chief for six months before they learn that he left the job last year. They then will demand the dismissal of anyone at the CMS who said hello to him.
HHS’ inspector general’s office will tell Congress that the amount of Medicare fraud in South Florida alone now exceeds the national debt of Greece.
Militant American Medical Association delegates upset over healthcare reform will introduce a resolution demanding the repeal of the 21st century.
The Joint Commission will hire Jesuit semanticists to come up with a sterile-sounding term to denote “patients dropping like flies.”
The CMS will confess that it has no idea what an accountable care organization is and rule that if you want to call yourself an ACO, that’s OK.
Medical records security breaches will result in the disclosure of sensitive information for every American except Kim Kardashian. She will then use her data as the basis of a new reality TV show.
For-profit hospital chain mergers, acquisitions and spin-offs come to a halt when the churning becomes so intense that no one can remember whom he works for.
Sarah Palin will say the 2,000-page healthcare reform bill is actually a cookbook for space aliens to prepare meals made from human flesh.
Donald Trump will run as an independent and win the White House, which he will convert into a casino where citizens can gamble for health coverage. His HHS secretary, Martha Stewart, will begin her term by saying the nation’s health and mood will be improved if Americans just whip up a simple inaugural dinner of canapes, freshly harvested French truffles, Asian root vegetables, duck l’orange, bananas Foster, cappuccino and homemade party favors.