Thursday, February 4, 2010

Is Healthcare Reform Dead? Not So Fast Part III

On the heels of major setbacks for President Obama's Healthcare Reform initiative comes some bad news that might actually be a shot in the arm for renewed discussions about our current system and needed changes. The Government announced yesterday that healthcare consumed a record 17.3% of all domestic spending last year. This translates to approximately $2.5 trillion and represents the single largest one year jump in helathcare spending ever recorded. Further, according to CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), the government's share of this amount has grown to almost 50%.

Why is this potentially good news for the President's Healthcare Reform initiative? Because it clearly shows that the current system of delivery and payment is broken and only getting worse. While there is severe doubt among many that the two bills currently passed by the House and Senate respectively will really curb these out of control costs, it points out that something must be done soon. Meanwhile the only something being discussed right now is President Obama's initiative.

As I said in earlier posts, if a bill is passed it will only be after long and deliberate discussions. But the news yesterday will certainly renew interest to change the status quo for healthcare delivery in this country.

Is Healthcare Reform dead? I don't think so, at least not yet.

Mark Brodeur

1 comment:

  1. While I agree our health care system needs improvements, I disagree with declaring it "broken." It is anything but broken.

    Many individuals/groups advocate a single payor system similar to that of Great Britian and Canada. If healthcare in these countries is superior to ours, I wonder why the head of one of the Maritime Privinces, I beleive New Foundland, is coming to the U.S. for treatment of a condition that would take months to address in his home Province.

    Some of the provisions of our proposed reform lelgislation are worthy and needed; i.e., Selling of insurance policies across state lines and enabling individuals to continue to receive insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions. But the reduction of Medicare payments by $500 billion in a ten year period is foolhardy. This indeed would result in the rationing of care and force many physicians to opt out of the Medicare system resulting in waits for care similar to those of Canada and Great Brition.


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