Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

March 5, 2013

No, I guess I hadn't heard it all

(Continued)

I do know that I was probably one of the most ignorant and naive people on the planet until I retired and had time to really look at what was happening to us in just the past 10 years. I still remember the original letter to the editor that I wrote many years ago exploring why healthcare costs had increased double digits yearly or over 120 percent in 10 years and inflation was less than 40 percent, along with wage increases less than 30 percent.

Today, we spend nearly 18 percent of our nation's economic output while other countries — Britain 10 percent, Germany 12 percent, France 12 percent and Japan 8 percent — rank no better than the systems in other developed nations. On some measures we are worse.

An article by Eduardo Porter describes how, in a way, private delivery of healthcare misleads Americans about the financial burdens they must bear to lead an adequate existence. He points out that our system is really just an additional tax — an indispensable cost to live a healthy life.

Today, all we hear is the cry to cut entitlements. How much do you hear or read about fixing a terribly broken delivery system? What do they do with the studies they commissioned to study the problem? If a prestigious panel of doctors, administrators and health experts tell you that out of every dollar spent on health care, 30 cents is wasted, do you just ignore the work of 18 months by these people with the knowledge/experience and keep searching for ways to cut senior benefits or entitlements? I hat that word. Or, do you just keep looking for ways to finance a broken, corrupt system?

What part of cost reduction do these people do not understand? They offer huge incentives to adopt digital medical records not only to report that it might be costing more rather than less. They use the cry of "socialized medicine" to strike fear into everyone's heart at the mention of "single payer" to remove the lobbyist payments, insurance bonuses and profits from the cost of medical treatment.

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