It’s hard to believe that we spend so much and have less than optimal outcomes.
In the U.S. its all about revenue and income rather than patient outcomes.
Some recent posts:
- Infant Mortality Comparison Canada vs U.S.
- Inpatient vs outpatient surgeries
- Balking a prescription Costs
- What Makes U.S. health care so expensive: Red herrings
- What makes U.S. Health Care so Expensive: Conclusion
Medicynical Note: Like many other aspects of the U.S. economy health care coverage is heading for the bottom–fewer people covered, uncontrolled costs. A system in chaos.
It’s sobering to hear politicians on the right talk about their concern about balancing the budget. After all their “starve the beast strategy” has created massive deficits (with the exception of the Clinton years) and the more recent Bush tax cuts and unfunded wars accounted for over one or two trillion in deficits over the past 10 years. Added to this are the deficits caused by the deregulation of the financial industry and it’s subsequent self-immolation.
Now these same interests wish to further cut taxes particularly for the wealthy. At the same time they claim not to want to privatize or cut social security and criticize health reform for decreasing medicare costs and oppose any defense cuts. (defense spending in their view needs to go up)
But reality is this:
It’s obvious that if you want to balance the budget you need to go where the money is. That means increasing government revenues (taxes and fees) and/or cuting the budget where money is spent.
It’s easy to fall into deep despair about the deficit, but Obama’s former budget director, Peter Orszag, recently grabbed the fiscal spotlight with a remarkably easy solution: Let the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire for everyone. By allowing taxes to return to the pre-Bush era levels for taxpayers, the federal budget would be close to balance by 2015.
Cuts in small agencies have little effect on the deficit but great effect on the necessary programs and regulations those agencies oversee. Our conservative friends stipulate that defense spending no matter how excessive or proligate is sacrosanct and should not be cut. Therefore to have meaningful budget cuts, logically, social security, medicare, social security, medicare, medicaid, CHIP, and other safety net programs are on the chopping block. This from those who criticize the health reform for more efficiently using medicare’s current funding and decreasing spending.
This leads us to a bit of irony. “Conservative” thinkers want to cut taxes on those who can afford them most and cut spending or, to put it another way, “tax” programs that provide support for people who literally can afford it least. It’s really doesn’t add up.