The Corner

Offshoring Hits Health Care

In the Morning Jolt today, Jim Geraghty links to the New England Journal of Medicine survey of practicing physicians conducted a few days before passage of Obamacare. Nearly one third of respondents stated that they would leave the practice of medicine or retire early if Obamacare passed.

Well, the bill passed, and now we have the story (also noted by Jim) of the Florida doctor who has posted a sign in his office advising patients who supported Obamacare to seek treatment elsewhere. Clearly, a significant cohort of the medical profession isn’t thrilled with the new health-care order.

Obamacare supporters seem either dismissive of or oblivious to the probability that the legislation will cause significant dislocation in the provider market. For decades, foreigners flocked to the U.S. for high-quality medical care. Elite American medical institutions did a robust business treating wealthy (and not-so-wealthy) citizens of other countries.

Now, however, the net patient flow may begin to go in the other direction. Already, some of those elite institutions are setting up substantial, state-of-the-art facilities abroad. Rather than retire or leave the practice, some of these newly disaffected doctors are likely to set up practices outside of the U.S., unburdened by the constraints of Obamacare.

Government-imposed costs and regulations have contributed to the offshoring of a spectrum of businesses in the manufacturing and service sectors. Health-care services may differ from those businesses, but many of the same dynamics pertain. This is a negative outcome of Bidenesque proportions.

But don’t worry. As I noted yesterday, Obamacare is unconstitutional.

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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