Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Misguided Debate on Health Care Reform

Our political parties and its leaders presented two unacceptable alternatives to the American public during the health care debate. The president and his party concentrated on the evils of the health insurance industry while pursuing the commendable goal of universal coverage. They conveniently did not explain that insurance rates are determined mathematically by actuaries and that our present problems are primarily caused by the huge costs of the entity being insured, health care. Neither party had the courage to inform the public that Medicare and more so Medicaid are subsidized by private insurance. The president’s party ignored the crisis of government overspending and debt accumulation facing most western nations including ours. Their solution was a massively complex and expensive law. Ignored also was the significant negative impact the cost of health care (17% of gross domestic product) is having on manufacturing and exports along with the loss of high paying jobs. The present law is estimated to increase health care spending to a whopping 20-22% of gross domestic product, which will put an even greater drag on our economy.
The other party decried the expansion of government, the uncertainty of the law on small and large businesses, the law’s large costs and its individual mandates to be monitored by the Internal Revenue Service. They ignored the need for universal coverage and like the other party did not discuss the negative impact health care costs are having on our society. Instead, they also focused on insurance.
Neither party addressed the cost pressures that Medicaid is having on state budgets, diverting much needed funds from K-12 public education. The federal government needs to absorb the full cost of this program. If we as a nation are to decrease our alarming poverty rates we need to spend much more on acculturating and educating our children, especially those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Neither party had the courage to address the real problems of health care. It consumes too large a fraction of our economy sacrificing the education of our youngsters and causing the decline of manufacturing. The goal of health care reform must be to provide universal coverage while spending a smaller fraction of our resources. Our leaders were not humble enough to ask the physician community why other advanced societies, while moving to a mix of private and government funded care, are able to provide universal coverage at much less cost and what reforms would be needed to obtain this goal. On this blog are many suggestions as to how to accomplish this.


smplcv said...

I am from India and can say atleast your health care reform was better then us. thanks for sharing this with me..i have shared it with all Indian medical community's
Medical CV

Doctor Kenneth Fisher said...

Thank you for your comment. I hope my blog is helpful to you and your colleagues. Regards, Kenneth A. Fisher, M.D.

Moshe Sharon said...

With the advent of new medical technology called Molecular Diagnostics, we have a new double edged sword for the new world order. While DNA and RNA analysis will prove useful in reducing medical costs and take the guess work out of prescribing drugs, there is the danger of DNA profiles being used in the nefarious new world order conspiracy for domination and control.