Ilovebenefits’s Blog

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Health Care: The issue is still the cost

Editor’s note: This from Greg Scandlen:

Fall-Back Position?
The Brookings Institution’s Henry Aaron provides a reality check in the New England Journal of Medicine that Mr. Obama might want to read. Mr. Aaron is a long-standing proponent of health reform, but he is no fool. He writes, “No health care reform bill can succeed unless Congress findsthe money to pay for it. The challenge is brutally simple. Theup-front costs of extending coverage are certain and immediate.The savings from delivery-system reform are speculative andslow. U.S. budget projections indicate explosive increases ingovernment borrowing and rapid increases in debt-service costs,which could cause lenders to lose faith in the nation’s repaymentcapacity. Prospects are so bleak that not even the achievementof the worthy goals of health care reform justify increasingalready perilous budget deficits.”
He walks through a brutally realistic picture of budget and legislative realities and concludes, “The challenge of finding acceptable ways of paying for near-universalcoverage is formidable and may prove insurmountable. It is therefore essential to identify elementsof the full plan that would set the stage for later reformsand that can be financed at a politically digestible price.”
We’ll see next week if Mr. Obama is listening.
New England Journal of Medicine


September 4, 2009 - Posted by | Federal Government, healthcare | , ,

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