The Problem of Health Care

Richard Baehr at American Thinker analyzes what he regards at the big problem with health care, not access, but cost.

Since 85% of the population is insured, the primary concern for most of the currently insured is cost control, not expansion of access. The great majority of the population do not believe that the various reform bills are “paid for” (with Medicare cuts, tax increases, and new fees), regardless of what the OMB says and what the bills’ advocates claim.
The so-called “doctors fix” on Medicare physician payment rates will cost $250 billion over ten years, and double that in the following decade. This cost was excluded from the bill, to allow Democrats to claim the bill cut the overall deficit in the first ten years. Many are properly skeptical that a Congress which loves to spend will in fact allow half a trillion to be cut from Medicare in the next ten years, particularly since some of the savings are expected to come from the “waste, fraud, and abuse” category.
If there were hundreds of billions in low-hanging fruit in these categories, then it would be criminal for the administration and the Congress not to have spotted it and done something about it by now. After all, Medicare is facing a $38-trillion unfunded liability, assuming one is foolish enough to believe that there really is a Medicare trust fund, as opposed to the reality: a pay-as-you-go system, much like what exists with Social Security. Both of the entitlement programs for older Americans, along with the Medicaid program, are absorbing rapidly increasing percentages of the federal budget and GDP.
Baehr goes on to discuss what he regards as possible and effective “structural changes” to the current health care system that would help reduce cost for health care. Read the whole thing here.


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