Monday, June 22, 2009


I propose that new proposed universal health care that the US is going to try to adopt should be called Medicall because we'll all be getting it.  Besides that random point though is that Medicall doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  "By spending this money, we're going to be saving money!"  I suppose that if you buy a couple of candy bars now, you won't have to buy a cheeseburger in an hour, but that doesn't mean you'll be saving it.  With the unfunded Medicare benefit currently projecting at around $50 trillion, adding a lot of people to the rolls seems like the opposite of what we should be doing.  Dan Henninger had a great article about it in today's WSJ:

Whatever Medicaid's merits, this federal health-care program more than any other factor has put California and New York on the brink of fiscal catastrophe. I'd even call it scary.
Spending on health and welfare, largely under Medicaid, makes up one-third of California's budget of some $100 billion. In New York Gov. David Paterson's budget message, he notes that "New York spends more per capital ($2,283) on Medicaid than any other state in the country."
After 45 years, the health-care reform called Medicaid has crushed state budgets. A study by the National Governors Association said a decade ago that because of "new requirements" imposed by federal law -- meaning Congress -- "Medicaid has evolved into a program whose size, cost and significance are far beyond the original vision of its creators."
That being said, it does look like we're stepping back from it a little bit, but let's face it: this is no solution.  Until we get people to be more responsible for their own health, either through moving everybody's insurance to Geico (i.e. auto-insurance style where you pay higher and do it individually) or through a complete revamp of the whole third-party payer system, we're never going to start saving money on medical expenses.


Rob said...

Amen. Social security and medicaid are the perfect examples to bring up whenever someone complains about the government not fixing problem X. Good intentions with terrible consequences.

Rob said...

Hey Sorro, we're discussing universal healthcare over at The Provonian. Why don't you stop by and weigh in. I would like someone in health care to comment on why costs are increasing faster than inflation--especially given that innovation in most fields tends to lower costs--in our "free market, capitalist" health care system!