Just Another Note On Healthcare

Charles Krauthammer wrote on article for yesterday’s Washington Post about the current healthcare legislation.  He sums up the problem beautifully:

“What happened to Obamacare? Rhetoric met reality. As both candidate and president, the master rhetorician could conjure a world in which he bestows upon you health-care nirvana: more coverage, less cost.

“But you can’t fake it in legislation. Once you commit your fantasies to words and numbers, the Congressional Budget Office comes along and declares that the emperor has no clothes.”

The idea of something for nothing is very attractive; the problem is that it doesn’t work.  Despite the President’s claim that the bill will be revenue neutral because medical care costs will be drastically reduced, you only have to look at the history of Medicare and other government healthcare programs to know that is highly unlikely.  If you can’t reach revenue neutrality be cutting costs, you have to reach it with tax increases.

Charles Krauthammer has worked in the medical profession as a doctor and understands what is involved in this legislation.  He comments:

“This is not about politics? Then why is it, to take but the most egregious example, that in this grand health-care debate we hear not a word about one of the worst sources of waste in American medicine: the insane cost and arbitrary rewards of our malpractice system?

“When a neurosurgeon pays $200,000 a year for malpractice insurance before he even turns on the light in his office or hires his first nurse, who do you think pays? Patients, in higher doctor fees to cover the insurance.

“And with jackpot justice that awards one claimant zillions while others get nothing — and one-third of everything goes to the lawyers — where do you think that money comes from? The insurance companies, which then pass it on to you in higher premiums.”

You cannot seriously reduce medical costs in this country without tort reform.  President Obama knows this, but the amount of money lawyers contribute to Democrat politics make any changes in that area highly unlikely.