Medical Tuesday Blog

Medicare-For-All Will Control Health Care Costs

Jan 22

Written by: Del Meyer
01/22/2016 3:39 AM 

For those of us who love comedy, one of the most delightful ironies of progressivism is how regressive it is, how mired in the past. While conservatives gather to discuss fresh reformist ideas on how to fight poverty, Regressives think spending more will reduce the cost. See section 2 above.

BE NOT THE FIRST BY WHOM THE NEW ARE TRIED, NOR YET THE LAST TO LAY THE OLD ASIDE. –ALEXANDER POPE

How do Liberals and Conservative define progress? Conservatives look at all the issues involved in any proposed program change or implementation of a new program and carefully move in an onward and upward projection. They may move slowly, but then they make less miscalculation in charting their course. If you look at your watch, when your projections are between 12 and 3, you are always looking onward and upward. That is the goal of any real “progressive” or conservative, or formerly “liberal” with a small “l”, one who is open to any discussion of any issue and being able to see all sides before charting their course.

Anything between 3 and midnight will always point downward, or backward, or be a stab in the dark. This is the standard attitude of any “Liberal” with a capital “L” where any projections seem progressive. Change is always more exciting. However, anything between 3 and 12 is really “regressive” even though the public doesn’t see it as such. Anything new will captivate their interest and thus their vote. After the implementation of the apparent “progressive” program, the costs may be excessive—beyond what the “Liberals” or “Regressives” had projected, but the benefits are of such a nature that the majority of the people will be unwilling to reform the program into a realistic cost/benefit arrangements so that reform becomes nigh impossible.

Take any government program. Medicare is on everyone’s mind these days. The cost of Medicare is a good place to begin. At its start, in 1966, Medicare cost $3 billion. The House Ways and Means Committee estimated that Medicare would cost only about $12 billion by 1990 (a figure that included an allowance for inflation). This was a supposedly “conservative” estimate. But in 1990 Medicare actually cost $107 billion. Thus the actual cost was 35 times as high as was projected in just 24 years. Taxes could not be increased by 35 times, so Medicare had to begin denying coverage, reduce payment to hospitals and physicians, employ nurse to oversee utilization, and make doctors be their cops.

The conservatives saw this but were unprepared for this tragedy. All they could think of was Kerr-Mills which was an acquisition of defeat and being labeled as unkind and insensitive to the elder generation.

This large block of beneficiaries have great difficulty in voting for reduced benefits, which is rather like voting for a pay cut. Therefore, politicians avoid the third rail of Medicare and real reform may never happen.

We will be revisiting this issue in our companion Newsletter, HealthPlanUSA where we discussion health plans and proposed solutions.

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