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‘One Problem, One Bill’: Real Health Care Reform

Instead of President Obama's gargantuan bill, let's take the problems one at a time and address them individually.

by
Dr. Peter Weiss

Bio

February 25, 2010 - 12:00 am
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Pelosi tried and failed. Harry Reid couldn’t do it either. So President Obama has put his plan for health care reform on the table and now he wants to ram it through both the House and Senate.

The president is acting as if he came up with some new and improved concept for health care reform, when all he’s done is repackage an old, out of touch with reality proposal that nobody wants, except maybe Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

Not only is there no price tag on the bill, but the chattering class puts the over-under at $1 trillion. And I’ll go with the over.

His “proposal” is full of disingenuous plans at best and outright malpractice at worst. If he were a doctor, I’m sure the trial lawyers would be lining up to sue him for gross negligence. His proposal will cost more than the Senate version. It includes more taxes and more subsidies, and insinuates the government into even more aspects of health care. I could keep piling it up, but I’d be writing what every intelligent person already knows. Instead, let me remind people of what his proposal will not do.

It will not reduce the deficit, unless, of course, you use some kind of special math. Also, the majority of those uninsured will be placed on Medicaid, as if this is some great accomplishment. The Senate version and now the president’s version use Ponzi scheme math by collecting 10 years of revenue for six years of service. Isn’t Bernie Madoff in jail for something like that?

Most of you are familiar with another thing the president does not tell you. That is, of the 37 million who currently do not have health insurance, some 40% chose not to pay for it. They’re young and don’t need a comprehensive plan, but they could easily get a catastrophic plan if it were available. These are the 18- to 34-year-olds who will soon be forced to buy comprehensive insurance to help pay for those of us who are older.

We  have a real problem with the 12 to 15 million Americans who are denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions, and I’ll answer that in a moment. Before I do, I will give the president credit in two areas he reintroduced. First, there is Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse. We all know its rampant. Presidents before him tried but failed to fix it. Maybe this time we’ll be more successful.

One reason for this fraud is that only 3% of Medicare expenditures go towards administrative costs. The government does not have the resources to investigate all the fraud and abuse. The same can be said about the state’s Medicaid programs.

The second area where Obama is actually right is Medicare Advantage. This is an expensive program that I’m not sure we can afford in its current format. It is running on average 13% over the cost had the services been run through regular Medicare.

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