To Save Money, Save the Health Care Act (A deficit hawk's view)

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  1. Ralph Deeds profile image65
    Ralph Deedsposted 12 years ago

    Peter Orzag's op-ed on health care reform:

    In the name of fiscal probity, the incoming Republican leadership in Congress has committed to doing whatever it takes to stop the health care reform act from taking effect. Yet many of the provisions that politicians have been taking aim at are the ones that save money — like those that reduce excessive provider payments and create new institutions to curb cost growth.

    If the newly elected representatives and senators are truly concerned about rising health care costs, they should work to deploy the law’s cost-containment measures fully rather than try to repeal them.

    More here:

    1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
      weholdthesetruthsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Incomprehensible.   more than 60 new federal agencies,  each with the power to interfere in the market place, delivery, consumption, or provision of health care services, each will be acting, writing myriad new rules and regulations... 

      And, you think this will cause the health care system to become more efficient and deliver more services for less overall cost.   10's of thousands of pages, if not millions of pages of new rules...

      It's a religion, I tell you.   It has to be.   Because no rational person has ever made the observation that federal involvement in a market sector has caused it to become more efficient, cheaper, and effective.   No,  it counters EVERY rational analysis and every rational observation of reality.   This religion of "government makes all things better" is the domain of zealots and fanatics.

      1. dutchman1951 profile image61
        dutchman1951posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        we; I agree 150% with you here. Well said

      2. KFlippin profile image60
        KFlippinposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I agree, very well said.

      3. Doug Hughes profile image60
        Doug Hughesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        While I have never held the opinion that government makes all things better, the overhead cost of Medicare is less than 2% of benefits paid - in the private sector overhead is 15 to 20% of benefits paid. That's right - Medicare is around TEN times more efficient than the private sector. Now I would be happy if they spent a lot more fighting corporate fraud of medicare - doubling the overhead cost and cutting waste - Medicare would only be FIVE times as efficient as the private sector.

        1. KFlippin profile image60
          KFlippinposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Ten times more efficient, yet ten times more fraud for sure, doesn't quite add up to a benefit to the American people - not that I put faith in your numbers, and entirely too many doctors who are honest, can't afford to see Medicare patients, and thus Do Not, in order to make the living they feel like they ought to, hmmmmmm wonder why that is?  Just how does that FACT fit in to those Medicare efficiency doesn't, something is dysfunctional and sort of stinks.

          1. Ralph Deeds profile image65
            Ralph Deedsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            "can't afford to see Medicare patients"

            I'm not sure "afford" is the right word. Reality is they can make more money practicing for-profit medicine and accepting bribes from the drug companies.

            1. KFlippin profile image60
              KFlippinposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Unbelievable.  Geez, I suppose any professionally employed American is scamming someone in a liberal mind, except themselves of course. Unbelievable....

              1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
                weholdthesetruthsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                Of course they have to accuse doctors of ripping off the patients.   Doctors don't belong to a union.   You never hear them whine about teachers ripping off the students...  That's because teachers belong to a union. 

                You see, it's all politics and ideology, not fact or reason.

          2. Doug Hughes profile image60
            Doug Hughesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            "Private insurers consistently spend more on overhead and administration than Medicare. To anyone who shares the broad prejudice against government, the difference will be startling, although these numbers are very well known to health experts. The average overhead cost of Medicare is roughly 2 or 3 percent, far below the administrative costs of private insurers, which range between 27 and 40 percent."


            Now those who don't like it can stick their fingers in their ears and go 'Nananana - I can't hear you." It will still be a fact.

            Regarding waste in Medicare - it exists. Just ask Rick Scott, the new GOP governor of Florida whose company engineered massive Medicare fraud before he resigned as CEO. That's why I suggested doubling the overhead of Medicare - to make it only FIVE times as efficient as the private sector and eliminate fraud.

            1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
              weholdthesetruthsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Not only is medicare not efficient, it is horrendously run.   

              You see, just "cost vs checks written" is not "efficient".   

              You're using false math to create a falsehood, to sell a fraudulent idea.

              1. Doug Hughes profile image60
                Doug Hughesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                Nobody wants to deny your right to an opinion. But the private sector 'skims' 15% to 20% to pay for overhead which includes multi-million-dollar salaries for CEOs and advertising and profit.  Without those expenses, Medicare overhead runs 2% - those are not false numbers. We are comparing apples to apples.

                Some crooked medical corporations bilk Medicare for millions - even hundreds of millions (See Rick Scott - GOP gov of FL). But executives who mug Medicare of millions don't go to jail - a thug who mugs a little old lady for her Social Security check does.

                Medicare fraud will be cleaned up - After that, Medicare STILL will be many times more efficient than the private sector. It's a fact. Deal with it.

            2. KFlippin profile image60
              KFlippinposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Well, gee, glad you are the go to consultant man for how many dollars/multiples it takes to combat fraud, you should be working for HHS like yesterday.   But then, so far as I'm concerned, all government employees should take a min. 10% pay cut, their fed retirement put in the Social Security bank account, and live like the rest of Americans.  Was this discussed along with federalizing IRA's and 401K's??? Do tell me, tell us all, we would like to know.

              1. Doug Hughes profile image60
                Doug Hughesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                I would reply to the questions here if I had ANY idea what you are asking..  Anyone who can translate, help me out.

                1. KFlippin profile image60
                  KFlippinposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  You are just so darn cute in that photo!!!  I'm sure you'd be happy to put your federal retirement monies, if you have such, straight into Social Security, after all they are both managed by the Fed, and you seem to think that is so very efficient, and federal employees love the USA and have, slap your chest, such faith, they handle medicare so well, and have just zero to do with that so-called donut hole, yep, just zip to do with that.  Yep, it is a grand idea no doubt you are on board for, let's put all fed retirement monies into the plain old American SSA account.  Clear enough??  smile

                  1. Doug Hughes profile image60
                    Doug Hughesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                    As a mailman, I pay into Social Security, same as anyone else who works for a living in the private sector. Like many employers in the private sector, I have the equivalent of a 401 with limited matching contributions from my employer - similar to what I have been offered when I worked in the private sector. Like anyone who has money in mutual funds in a 401, that retirement investment is at risk if the stock market plunges just before I retire. The SS income is secure, less volatile.

                    Other than taking a mean-spirited dig at me for being a federal employee by delivering mail you seem intent on creating the false impression that I am getting a better deal than any professional in the private sector.  That isn't true, I know, because  I have worked the private sector from McDonald's Hamburgers to The American Board of Pediatrics.

    2. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      It should be repealed.
      Then, maybe some good health care reform can be proposed from scratch.  Specifically INSURANCE reform.   
      Who the heck could even make head or tails out of that "health-care" monstrosity in the first place?  Remember they never even read the thing and then Pelosi said we had to make it into law before we knew what was in it.  Utter nonsense!  The Republicans shouldn't be subjected to having to even attempt to overhaul that stupid Bill.
      Obama will only confuse the whole thing more, probably by making an issue of Medicare instead of focusing on the other points where reform possibilities can easily be scrutinized and implemented.

  2. KFlippin profile image60
    KFlippinposted 12 years ago

    Regardless of the misquided brain power of the NYT -- the fact is, the Dems pitched this bill as a "paying for itself", not adding to the deficit, etc... ad nauseum.  And the fact is, the 1099 provision (non Health related and squarely on the backs of middle and poor America) was added to raise tax revenue to help pay for this bill.  And the fact is -- that means the 2000 plus pages of BULL, are expected to add to the deficit.

    It does not take 2000 pages to provide health care for more kids, up to 26 year olds on their parents' policies, or resolve the critical pre-existing conditions issues, etc....  all those things the Dems point to pompously, those didn't take very many pages -- it is what else is in that bill.  Do we think puling Pelosi actually knows now what's in there now!  Highly doubtful.

    1. Doug Hughes profile image60
      Doug Hughesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office did the math.

      The final word from the CBO after the reconciliation fix was as follows, quoting Ezra Kline:

      "According to a Democratic source, CBO has finished its work and will release the official preliminary score later today. But here are the basic numbers: The bill will cost $940 billion over the first 10 years and reduce the deficit by $130 billion during that period. In the second 10 years -- so, 2020 to 2029 -- it will reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion. The legislation will cover 32 million Americans, or 95 percent of the legal population.

      To put this in context, that's more deficit reduction than either the House or Senate bill, and more coverage than the Senate bill."

      Health Care Reform does NOT add to the deficit - it reduces the deficit - by over a TRILLION dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
        weholdthesetruthsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        yeah, we know how the CBO scored it.   Please do not insult everyones intelligence with any further pure idiocy.     Those are "talking points" and they have no reality behind them.

        1. KFlippin profile image60
          KFlippinposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Well said.


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