Well, it's already happening, as noted in this article: "Medicare facing cancer, cardiac care cuts." Excerpts:
If enacted as scheduled on Jan. 1, 2010, policy changes recommended by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) -- the government's insurer for the elderly and disabled -- will severely cut current Medicare reimbursements to cardiologists and oncologists for critical care services that are provided to patients in physicians' offices or other out-of-hospital setting, such as chemotherapy to treat cancer, and various cardiac procedures to monitor and treat heart disease, such as nuclear imaging and heart catheterization.
These cuts will force cardiologists and oncologists to limit care to their Medicare patients, withdraw from treating Medicare patients altogether or require their patients to pay more out of pocket to make up the difference in the cost of these services.
The changes certainly will force the closing of outreach clinics in rural areas, leaving many people without easily accessible cardiac or cancer care.
The policymakers at CMS, who base their decisions on numbers and statistics, are unilaterally and dramatically changing the delivery of heart and cancer care by proclaiming that care for heart disease and cancer is too costly, while treatment for other diseases has greater value.
HT: Glenn Reynolds