Medicare hang-up

September 11, 2009 

President Obama did a good job of articulating the problem this nation has with funding health care for individuals. His reform proposal, while still lacking significant documentation of how the plan is to work, delineates many good and desirable features that should help ameliorate our current health-care problems. What he has proposed is basically a conceptual framework that will require a tremendous amount of analytical and political maneuvering to reach fruition.

One fundamental piece of his proposal, perhaps its Achilles' heel, appears to me to be illogical and unattainable. That is, the concept that there are sufficient savings in the Medicare system to fund his proposed plan. If we can find hundreds of billions in waste, abuse and inefficiency in Medicare, one wonders if the government has been a good steward in administering it. Furthermore, doesn't this kind of excess suggest that government might be incapable of managing such a bureaucratic program? If this be true, how can we expect a more complicated health-care system not to be run the same way?

Allen J. Barwick


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