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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Medicare, Medicaid, and Obama's Twisted Logic

It's hard to pick the point made by President Obama that is the most absurd. Still, right up near the top at least is the idea that much of his health care proposal will be paid by finding fraud, waste and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid. Now, there's no doubt there's plenty there. Yet, no one believes that the President will suddenly wave a magic wand and find it. Remember when the president said he'd go through the budget line by line to find waste, fraud, and abuse. How's that working out? Our budget just increased by about 25%.

To try and understand why the assertion is so absurd we must first try and understand why there's so much fraud, waste and abuse. It's mainly because both are big government programs. Medicare started in the 1960's as a program worth about $60 million. It's now in the neighborhood of $400 billion yearly. As that program has grow so to has the fraud, waste and abuse.

Now, the main reason that we should all be dubious of the president's claim that he'll cut all this fraud, waste, and abuse is that every president has paid lip service to this. None have been successful. In the meantime, both Medicare and Medicaid have grown exponentially and with it so to has the fraud, waste and abuse.

There's a much bigger reason to be dubious. Under the president's plan, both Medicare and Medicaid will increase exponentially. Under the House plan for instance, you could qualify for Medicaid if your income is for times the poverty line. (there's a lot of stipulations to that but it's possible) On top of this, it's estimated that the House bill would add 11 million people to the Medicaid rolls.

So, what the president is saying is very simple. He promises to cut waste, fraud and abuse. At the same time, he promises to exponentially increase the same government programs that cause waste, fraud and abuse. He does this even though the waste, fraud and abuse grows as the size of the program grows. So, what will happen to all this waste, fraud, and abuse when these government programs grow exponentially? Even better, who will pay for all of it? Welcome to the twisted logic of President Obama.


Anonymous said...

To the President, Medicare Advantage IS waste fraud and abuse. Letting private insurance companies make money off Medicare IS waste fraud and abuse.

lisa said...

So let's make it bigger. Yeah there's a solution that sounds promising.