Those who thought I was being alarmist in speculating on Wednesday about the dangers of discrimination through a two-tiered system of health care should probably check out Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar’s story for Associated Press this morning. Here are the opening paragraphs:
Every year, thousands of people make a deal with their doctor: I'll pay you a fixed annual fee, whether or not I need your services, and in return you'll see me the day I call, remember who I am and what ails me, and give me your undivided attention.
But this arrangement potentially poses a big threat to Medicare and to the new world of medical care envisioned under President Barack Obama's health overhaul.
The spread of "concierge medicine," where doctors limit their practice to patients who pay a fee of about $1,500 a year, could drive a wedge among the insured. Eventually, people unable to afford the retainer might find themselves stuck on a lower tier, facing less time with doctors and longer waits.
Welcome to the new world of slavery. We no longer need to be held in chains as long as we are confined to the ever-increasing economic underclass!