In a round-up cover story, Time Magazine recognizes various women and a few men in media and other fields who had the courage this year to speak out about the sexual abuse, harassment and discrimination they endured from men in power. Unfortunately, the magazine undermined the impact of naming the “silence-breakers” of the #MeToo moment as its Person of the Year by selecting sexual-predator-in-chief Donald Trump as runner-up.
An examination of the American Medical Association’s special committee that meets three times a year to determine how much Medicare should pay doctors for the medical procedures they perform:
In a free market society, there’s a name for this kind of thing—for when a roomful of professionals from the same trade meet behind closed doors to agree on how much their services should be worth. It’s called price-fixing. And in any other industry, it’s illegal—grounds for a federal investigation into antitrust abuse, at the least.
But this, dear readers, is not any other industry. This is the health care industry, and here, this kind of ‘price-fixing’ is not only perfectly legal, it’s sanctioned by the U.S. government. At the end of each of these meetings, RUC members vote anonymously on a list of ‘recommended values,’ which are then sent to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that runs those programs. For the last twenty-two years, the CMS has accepted about 90 percent of the RUC’s recommended values—essentially transferring the committee’s decisions directly into law.