President Obama said Saturday he wants to help pay for his health care overhaul by slowing Medicare and Medicaid spending, but hospitals, medical technicians and others are resisting.The high-stakes struggle over medical care is heating up as Obama declares the status quo unacceptable.
The president suggests trimming federal payments to hospitals by about $200 billion over the next 10 years, saying greater efficiencies and broader insurance coverage will justify the change. Hospitals, especially those with many poor patients, say the proposed cuts are unfair and will harm the sick and elderly.
So, here's what the president wants to do. In order to mandate universal coverage for everyone, the president wants to cut government spending for medical coverage for older folks and the poor. It sounds to me like he's taking one equation 2 + 7=9 and turning it into a new equation 3 + 3 +3=9. He can rearrange the numbers all he wants but in the end the final number remains the same. To make another metaphor, he's taking the exact same pie only cutting it up into different pieces.
If in order to create universal health care coverage, the government cuts back on services it already provides, what kind of reform is that exactly? I am no fan of either Medicare or Medicaid but there's an inherent lack of logic here. How does creating one new government medical program by cutting two others make any sense whatsoever.
The problem is very simple and President Obama can't seem to square. We have limited resources of health care in America. He's done nothing to increase those resources. There aren't more doctors, nurses, health equipment, etc. Instead, there will just merely be more people to take advantage of those resources. It's the same pie with much smalller pieces. That's why he proposes to cut Medicare and Medicaid. Those folks will now get too much service so there's will be cut back in order to make sure that those that have no insurance at all get some service.
What everyone will soon find out is that unless there is a fundamental shift in the manner in which health care reform is approached, that's all any of this will be. They will simply rearrange the pie. Unless the plan focuses on competition and productivity, all we'll be doing is rearranging the pie.