Thursday, August 13, 2009

Misinformation Volume II

The idea that a new government program for health care will explode the deficit or cause an increase in taxes is "misinformation" according to the white house. President Obama (I really hate having to type that) has stated firmly and repeatedly that the program will be deficit neutral so why do we insist on applying our own brands of logic to the claims?

Obama says deficit neutral but the Congressional Budget Office says $1 trillion in set up and then an explosion of costs.

Obama says that Medicare is bankrupting us so the best solution is to expand it to everybody. (I still haven't figured out how that is logical.)

Obama says that he can pay for it with savings from cost controls. Ummmm, OK. What are those cost controls going to be exactly? Will it have anything to do with stopping doctors from whacking off your limbs willy nilly in an attempt to charge you more?

Obama says that by having everybody covered the costs will go down because people won't be going to the ER as much, but aren't the highest volume of people using the ER those already on Medicaid? I'm missing the logic again.

Obama says that he won't vote for any bill that grows the federal deficit - this claim is a little hard to swallow considering that he's already quadrupled it in 6 months. Yep, Mr President, we can see you're a real fiscal conservative.

As a cost savings initiative Obama plans to lower the re-imbursement rate to health care providers for the services they give Medicare patients. The re-imbursement rates are already pretty low so if they go much lower it's going to start costing the doctors to do the test. Forget making money, they'll be bleeding it.

Hmmmm, an interesting way to implement rationing isn't it. If the government tells a doctor they will be re-imbursed $1,000 less than their costs for a particular procedure how long do you think those procedures will continue to be performed? If it's a break even I think many doctors would still do it, but if it throws them into a negative balance I can't see them continuing. Wouldn't it be interesting to require a bailout of our medical professionals due to the new Medicare re-imbursement rates. Especially since Obama already think the doctors get $30,000 - $50,000 for taking your foot when they actually only get #350 -$750. He's only 10 times higher than the actual so we should definitely be able to trust his numbers.

There are only 2 ways to make the public option (path to single payer) deficit neutral and that is to either raise taxes or to charge premiums for the public option which will cover the medical cost payout. Considering that the people don't want or can't afford the premiums of the private sector, I doubt the public option would look much better.

How about you first do a little research, real analysis into what is driving the cost of health care up. Hire an independent team of process improvement analysts to determine exactly where the issues lie (because I frankly doubt that doctors really are cutting off people's feet just to get more money) and fixing those first and see how it goes.

One last little tidbit that I just have to share -- As much as Obama talks about the importance of routine care and how we need to expand Medicare type coverage to all, he might want to keep in mind that routine care is not covered under Medicare.


  1. This is clearly misinformation. Your name has been emailed to Obama's anti-misinformation squad.