Thursday, February 25, 2010

Health Care Summit - The Onus is On Them

While trying to listen to the Health Care Summit today, I found myself cringing at the abuse of logic. (I just finish reading "Nonsense: Red Herrings, Straw Men and Sacred Cows: How We Abuse Logic in Our Everyday Language").

I only heard one person who actually seemed to attempt to address the issue while not pushing an agenda. That was Senator Tom Coburn who happens to be a medical doctor. I liked how tried focus on "why" health care cost so much and what we can do about it. His first proposal was to address Medicare fraud and abuse, which could save billions of dollars (The current cost of Medicare, etc. is about $440 billion with an estimated 10% of that being fraud, waste and abuse).

The response to Senator Coburn was:

Pres. Obama - "Every good idea that we've heard about reducing fraud and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid system, we've adopted in our legislation... we want to eliminate fraud and abuse".

Rep. Steny Hoyer - "In our bill.. you'll be happy to see a very substantial investment in [cutting fraud, waste and abuse]".

So I say, Mr. President and distinguished members of Congress, if you are capable of "legislating" significant reduction of fraud, waste and abuse then you might gain my confidence that the rest of your legislation is more than "good ideas" and "investment [spending]". Until you gain my confidence, I am suspicious that any expansion of Government Health Care will be subject to the same fraud, waste and abuse of the old programs.

The onus is on you: reduce fraud in the programs you already manage before expanding them OR get out of the health care business altogether.

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