Friday, April 08, 2011

Fixing Medicare

Paul Ryan’s insane dishonest plan to “fix” (actually destroy) Medicare is wrong on more than one level, because Medicare itself does not need to be fixed. What needs to be fixed are the things that Medicare is paying for. Solve that problem, and you have fixed not only Medicare, but also Medicaid, the health insurance cost issue and a significant portion of the federal deficit as well.

No one ever suggested that the “affordable housing crisis” could be solved by a simple act of the government paying less for housing, so why do we think that the “affordable health care crisis” can be solved by having the government pay less for health care? You own rental property that costs you $3000 per month, are you going to rent it for $2000 per month because the government tells you to? Is a hospital going to charge less for medical procedures because the government tells it to?

When we fought for a full year over “health care reform” the only thing we talked about was health insurance, which pays health care costs, and the generators of health care costs were specifically excluded from the discussion. Now we are talking about “fixing Medicare” and the generators of what Medicare pays for are still excluded from the discussion. Why?

Because hospitals, doctors, clinics, medical laboratories, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment makers are a bottomless money pit which we dare not touch. Health insurance companies make $billions of profit every year, but those companies make more profit than that in about an hour and a half. The “health care reform” debaters were willing to sacrifice the health insurance companies, if need be, in order to preserve the far more vast money pit that is the health care industry.

It turned out, of course, that the only thing sacrificed in the “health care reform” debate was the health care consumer.

Update: Notice that Paul Ryan still does not suggest that Medicare be authorized to negotiate pricing with drug companies on Medicare Part D.

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