Sunday, August 23, 2009

Knee deep? Waist deep? Neck Deep?

The cost of medical care in the U.S. is the real reason medical insurance costs so much.

Because the care is expensive and its cost is growing, the insurance is expensive and its cost is growing. As a result, there are more and more Americans whose access to medical care is limited because they are uninsured.

Very high quality medical care is delivered in Western Europe and in places all over the world, at much less cost vs. the U.S. Why can’t that be done here? That is the key question – and please note this is a medical cost question, not an insurance cost question.

Achieving real economies in medical cost should be a central objective of reform. But the administration doesn't seem to be looking there.

In fact, the administration can't seem to explain in straightforward terms, what it is trying to accomplish and why. First we were told it was health care reform. Now they say it's health insurance reform. First the motivation was to help the uninsured – plus or minus 15% of the population. Now we see Congress intends to control 100%. First we’re told we can keep the coverage we have. Now it appears we cannot. First we have Section 1233 of HR3200 that no Congressman or Senator or administration official could explain. Now the administration promises to pull Section 1233 from the Bill (as if that will change anything). First Obama told us his proposals were necessary to save the economy. Now CBO has shown that all the bills currently being discussed will increase the deficit. So now the economic argument for reform is set aside in favor of a moral and ethical imperative. First Obama demanded a bill be passed by August - a deadline that foreclosed meaningful Congressional debate. Now we are told that the public is obstructing debate in the Town Hall meetings - as though the administration suddenly decided on July 31 that debate is worthwhile. And of course this administration assured us from the beginning that it will unite us around hope and change we can believe in. Now we see the leaders in this administration descending into ugly name-calling and vilification of ordinary citizens for exercising their right to speak up and speak out.

What do you see? I see an administration and Congress who have failed to figure out what they want, or to to explain to us what they are trying to do in any but highly generalized and uninformative terms. Nevertheless, the administration and Congress seem less interested in listening to the public, and more determined to discredit public opinion, while they doggedly forge ahead with their plans anyway.

We’re knee-deep in the big muddy but the big fool said to push on.
blog comments powered by Disqus