A lengthy but rational debate on the Nightly NewsHour. The seminal issue remains: how and why to fund this massive program?
Our thread seems to be gaining traction. Moderator David Gregory of Meet the Press was was questioning Kathleen Sibelius this morning on the economics of health care reform. She was not very convincing in her answers. Why? They still do not know how these “reforms” will be funded.
The Wall Street Journal has an opinion article tomorrow, July 20, on the politics of passing health care reform. I am not endorsing the Wall Street Journal and its editorials. But the formulation of the strategy bears scrutiny. In the last six months too much legislation has been passed “because the crisis demands an immediate answer.” Shock Doctrine evolves.
We were talking about unsustainable costs. I and many others have asked the question — how is this to be funded? Both the House and Senate have been struggling with this Herculean task. And now we have new headlines.
House formulating plans for a surtax on the wealthiest of Americans. Well it’s only 2.5% of the population. And it does hold true to the President’s pledge not to tax the middle class. And one could argue that the wealthiest of Americans have already benefited mightily from the Bush tax cut years. Whatever that was.
But … this is an unwise long term solution. It has a nice ring to it. A Robin Hood approach. Let’s all sharpen our pitchforks.
Let’s continue this conversation. And again, let’s repeat — this is not HealthCare reform. It is economic reform. And it is not even sound economic reform. It is simply a shell game. Most unfortunately, the administration, with the most timely and admirable of goals, has backed itself into a corner. Deliver this or else. But the “or else” is the 80 pound gorilla. Will it be the best solution? Will it be a good solution? Will it be a solution at all?
Many have asked this question — how is this going to be funded? Where are the funds? Various answers have been offered. We will save money in one part of the system to fund another part of the system. You understand even this makes no sense.
Read the superb treatise by Kevin Phillips — Bad Money. Read the classic The Great Crash 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith. Nothing arises in a vacuum. History is important. Private, public and international debt loads are rising to unsustainable proportions. This is relevant.
Chuck Schumer speaking on HealthCare was interviewed on Meet the Press this morning. A new variation of the oft repeated shibboleth — “the system is wasteful, duplicative and inefficient.” How many times have we heard this before? The red badge of courage for all politicians — if only we could just root out waste, fraud and abuse…
Our goal is not to save insurance companies money. A most nefarious lot. Our goal is to solve problems and make you whole again. Healthier and happy. That is the goal of functional medicine and Anti-Aging Medicine. Optimal Health and Well Being.
There is nothing inherently wrong with medicine as a business. There is nothing inherently wrong with any business in America. We still aspire to capitalist principles. What is immoral and repugnant is rapacious business.
First of all, physicians will tell you, “I’m a doctor, not a businessman.” But the very few of us dinosaurs left in solo practice are running a small business. And it is not an insignificant small business.
It is apparent why a fellow physician was so discouraged when he spoke with a number of Senators and Congresspeople on Capitol Hill recently. Politicians are clueless about medicine. Most people do not understand the complexity of medicine. Senators are absolutely clueless about related medical issues such as steroids and sports. In the end, most are only interested in self-aggrandizement and self-preservation.
Can we afford Health Care reform? We are told this is a refrain dating back to Roosevelt.
But we find ourselves in the midst of unsustainable budgetary increases that must reverse “at some time.”
This is not Health Care reform. It is an attempt at economic reform. Even that must fail.
The truth is no one in Washington really has a clue how to fund this. The latest shocking figures are $1.6 trillion for only an additional 10 million lives.