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Friday, July 17, 2009

Can we really save the economy by spending more?

The Director of the CBO believes we can't at least not in the context of the spending involved in the health care bill. The administration's purposed health care re-do seems to go like this. Since the country will ultimately go broke if we continue top spend more and more on health care cost must be contained. This is expressed in the jaunty jargon of health care policy wonks as "bending the health care cost curve". To bend this curve the administration is recommending that we spend more on health care by making sure that all (well almost all) of everyone in the county have health care insurance. So how will this keep the country from going bankrupt?

Simple we will rely on the magic three: comparative effectiveness research (cer),prevention and use of electronic medical record (EMR) systems. Actually that appeard to be the gist of the original taking points points more recently there are varous tax increase proposals being formulated. Combining providing care for almost all with these three ( plus some as yet undecided upon package of increased taxes) will bring about a "budget neutral " economic miracle.Everyone (almost) will have health care and it won't cost anymore and the quality will be better and by not relentlessly increasing health care cost we will save the country from bankruptcy. QED.

Douglas Elmendorf, Director of the Congressional Budget Office testified before Congress and reminded everyone that the notion of there-is-no-such-thing-as-a free-lunch may still apply. He said in part:

".. bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose "the sort of fundamental changes" necessary to rein in the skyrocketing cost of government health programs, particularly Medicare. On the contrary, Elmendorf said, the measures would pile on an expensive new program to cover the uninsured. (Quote is taken from this Washington Post article and the bolding is mine.)

1 comment:

Jonena said...

Dr. Gaulte. Please take your remarks of fiscal logic to congress. It is going to take millions of Americans, and especially medical professionals shouting, to stop this legislation from passing. The American public doesn't want nor can we afford more taxes, and we certainly don't want our grandchildren paying for this albatross healthcare scheme. To repeat the quote: "There is no free lunch". Someone has to pay for this healthcare that our congressmen won't even use themselves. They will still be covered by their own plan which is also paid for by us, the US taxpayers. Regards, J Relth CA