Conservatives cast doubt on cost effectiveness of healthcare reform

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Conservative healthcare analysts warned a House committee that several provisions of the Affordable Care Act could cause further industry consolidation and weaken Medicare.

Panelists from the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute told members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet that accountable care organizations threaten the health of Medicare by failing to achieve innovation and lower costs, the Bureau of National Affairs reported. The arguments presented in the hearing, held on Friday, set the stage for the Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of President Obama's healthcare law, which is expected at the end of June.

However, panelist Thomas L. Greaney, director of the Center for Health Law Studies at Saint Louis University School of Law in Missouri, made a case for the same programs the conservatives argued against, according to the testimony. He argued that that ACOs, subsidies for research and Medicare payment reforms would lead to improved outcomes and more medically effective treatments.

Nursing homes have a stake in ACOs, which are designed to incentive healthcare providers by allowing them to share in savings resulting from better, cheaper care.