Regnat Populus

The people rule.

Orszag Needs A Proctocolectomy

Posted by Max Barron on May 15, 2009

head-up-assOrszag Needs A Proctocolectomy… To safely remove his head from his arse.  Because that is where it seems to reside – if he thinks anyone with any kind of sense buys the bull his incontinent bowls are spewing.  Orszag put pen to paper for an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, allow me to state for the record that there is such a thing as a wrong opinion.  You need look no further than Orszag’s diatribe to find a prime example.

The Medicare and Social Security trustees’ reports released this week show that health-care costs drive our long-term entitlement problem. An example illustrates the point: If costs per enrollee in Medicare and Medicaid grow at the same rate over the next four decades as they have over the past four, those two programs will increase from 5% of GDP today to 20% by 2050.

First, “long term entitlements” are a huge part of our collective problems to day.  Orszag basically defines why when he drones on to tell us that in 40 years at current growth rates Medicare and Medicaid will consume 20% of GDP.  I’ve talked about this before.  It is a certain sign of an ignorant or otherwise foolish person to use the prime example of what is wrong with federal entitlement programs… to argue the case for MORE federal entitlement programs.

We don’t seem to be getting anything in exchange for the extra costs except more intensive tests and procedures, and additional days in the hospital — and who would want any of that if the additional tests and procedures do not actually help to promote health?

No one would want excessive and useless tests with more hospital time.  No one does.  Not even the doctors that are performing the tests.  But they don’t have a choice, because if they don’t some shyster trial lawyer will sue the doctor and hospital for millions and win.  Thus the high cost of malpractice insurance, and therefore, higher cost of care. 

While Orszag may have a point about excessive testing… but he’s also using it to frame his argument for government rationed health care.  The stench of statist mouth sewage is wafting from the statement.  Swimmers beware!

Health-care costs are already so high and the power of compound interest so strong that reducing the growth rate by 1.5 percentage points per year would save substantial sums. It would reduce national health expenditures by more than $2 trillion over the next decade — and could help to put roughly $2,500 in the pockets of the average American family every year.

Excellent point!  What Petey, here is forgetting to mention is that much of those costs are driven up because of government regulations that prevent competition in the industry.  These numbers also come from a more Capitalist system – one which is vastly more efficient and effective than a bureaucratically driven system.  So, if the overly burdensome costs and compound interest are so oppressive now… one can hardly fathom what it would be like with nationalized health care.  Wait, yes we can!  Just take a look at the current entitlement programs.  Or virtually any program run by the bureaucrats.  Inefficient.  Ineffective.  Piss poor.

A slower growth rate in overall health-care spending would help to promote and sustain a slowdown in Medicare and Medicaid spending, too. If cost growth slowed by that much in the future, Medicare and Medicaid spending would reach only about 10% of GDP by 2050 — half the level than if historical growth rates continued.

Lesser health care costs sure would lower the.. uh.. cost of health care.  You don’t say?  Perhaps if the Democrats stopped supporting trial lawyers and started supporting legislation that would seek to end frivolous lawsuits we’d be off to a great start.  Then the statists could do something completely against their nature, like opening up the entire industry to competition – which always causes lower pricing and higher quality.  Sacrilege!

“…only about 10% of GDP…” Only?  Last time I checked, 10% was still a whole freakin’ lot.  Perhaps, just perhaps, instead of blowing 10% of GDP on an entitlement program that is best left to the private sector… we could actually make it 0% by actually turning it over to the private sector.  Oh, and lest we forget the agenda here… If Medicare and Medicaid – which is only used by a fraction of the population – is on track to consume more than 10% (up to 20%) of GDP, what is Obamacare going to consume?

How can we move toward a high-quality, lower-cost system? There are four key steps: 1) health information technology, because we can’t improve what we don’t measure; 2) more research into what works and what doesn’t, so doctors don’t recommend treatments that don’t improve health; 3) prevention and wellness, so that people do the things that keep them healthy and avoid costs associated with health risks such as smoking and obesity; and 4) changes in financial incentives for providers so that they are incentivized rather than penalized for delivering high-quality care.

1) Yes, let’s give the bloated bureaucrats a nice database with ALL of our personal health information… yeah, that’ll be good.

2) Translation – Let’s have the bureaucrats ration our health care in whatever manner they see fit.  How’s that working out for the UK?

3)  Like punitive taxes to discourage us from doing what the statist jackals don’t want us to do?  i.e. Soda taxes, alcohol taxes, tobacco taxes, fat taxes, and soon how about a breathing tax.  What if we don’t cover our mouths when we cough or wash our hands, Mr. President?  Will we be taxed in the name of health care costs? Or perhaps they’ll just plain outlaw everything that they don’t want us to do – but then where would they get their money.

4)  How is it that they are penalized now?  Ohhhh, because they get more money for seeing more patients.  Which leaves the victim seeking statist to believe that this lends to shoddy care.  So let’s reverse that and pay them more to see less patients.  Yeah, that’s a great idea.

In February, the president signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is providing resources for electronic medical records, patient-centered health research, and prevention and wellness interventions so that we have the infrastructure in place to lower health spending in the long run.

The Generational Theft Act provided a nice chunk of change to GE (whom also received TARP monies) to research and create this great nationalized health care database.  Coincidentally,this is the same company that owns the All Barack Worshiping Channels. Better known as NBC, MSNBC and CNBC.  Can we say political pay-off?

The president’s budget also put forward a set of quality-enhancing changes in incentives in Medicare and Medicaid, such as paying hospitals less when they don’t get patient treatment right the first time so we can reduce the number of patients who have to endure readmission to a hospital.

There is an old joke – “It’s called practicing medicine for a reason.” There is no certainty in diagnosis… it is a guessing game based on symptoms. If the all-seeing all-knowing government chooses to penalize doctors for NOT getting it right on the first try, they will start refusing to see patients. OR include even more excessive testing and longer stays to ensure that they get it “right” on the first visit. “We’re ready for your colonoscopy Mr. Smith.” “But I came in because I have the sniffles.” Isn’t this precisely what Petey-boy was just whining about?

But more must be done. To transform our health-care system so that it improves efficiency and increases value, we need to undertake comprehensive health-care reform, and the president is committed to getting that done this year. Once we do, we will put the nation on a sustainable fiscal path and build a new foundation for our economy for generations to come.

Riiiiggghhhhtttt.  There’s that statist stench we all know and hate.  As mentioned previously.  If Medicare and Medicaid as so completely utterly wasteful, expensive and inefficient – why would anyone with common sense believe that a national system just like Medicare and Medicaid – but for everyone – would be any different?  Perhaps Mr. Orszag has been sitting on his head for too long.

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