bits of contemporary writing, thoughts and concerns
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Government Doesn't Reduce Costs
Government efforts to control the cost of healthcare have all failed. Cost control is a feature of decentralized, competitive markets, not of centralized bureaucracy. Incentives, not mandates, reduce costs. Anyone who has ever run a business understands that there are constant variations in costs for labor, facilities, raw materials, etc. In order for any business to prosper, it must respond quickly to market forces. Government bureaucracies carefully set regulations and reimbursement rates through broadly applied rules that are bent based on political considerations. They move slowly. They NEVER respond to market forces.
Medicare costs (overseen by the same government that would manage the entire national healthcare system) enjoy huge market power in purchasing and it should be the easiest to control in terms of managing costs. The truth? Between 2000 and 2007, Medicare's hospital and physician reimbursement rate soared annually by 5.4% and 8.5% respectively.
Medicare was structured as a ponzi scheme. Medicare tax contributions don't come close to fully funding the care it doles out. Today's workers subsidize today's recipients to the extent that it requires 3.7 workers to fund care for EACH Medicare recipient. So if you think that the money you're paying into Medicare today is high, it's about 25% of what it should cost to fully fund it. The Medicare system in America is broke and it will require a massive infusion of tax money to keep it rolling. As the nation ages, the numbers will become even more significant.
Expanding government's inability to come to grips with any major problem or to pay its bills without unrestrained borrowing against future generations should teach us that this is NOT the way to reform healthcare.
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the cat. "We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad," asked Alice?
"You must be," said the cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
Virtual Mirage - What's on the other side of the mirror? Ask Alice how deep the rabbit hole really goes.
This blog is an extension of MY JOURNEY because sometimes my journey needs more explanation, and sometimes there is more to be said than can be expressed on one ordinary blog.
Sometimes it's politics (very serious), sometimes I address the human condition with a dose of humor, and other times it may seem as if the track is headed in a unique direction. I can be a complicated guy at times.
There are a few things you'll find I consider:
* Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
* Sometimes the questions are complex but the answers are simple.
* Love is the only condition where the happiness of another person is essential to your own.
* Steers do not sign treaties with meat packers. (think on that)
* Taxes are NEVER levied for the benefit of the taxed.
* The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no victory possible in defense.
WHITE POWDER (Novel)
There is something intoxicating about a secret.
THE OLD WHORE (NOVEL)
In the peculiar cultural of the Central Intelligence Agency, "old whores" are people who will do whatever it takes to get the job done, irrespective of the cost.
THE BLACK SCORPIONS
A Novella Series available on Kindle. $2.99. The sequel to "White Powder: A Novel of the CIA and the Secret War in Laos"
Today, I balance work and play as much as anyone can. All things remaining equal, play is more important. Life is short - it's important to make every day count for something, if only to yourself.
I'm a former tinker/tailor/soldier/sailor who has now decided that maybe it really wasn't all done for nothing.
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