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Showing posts from August, 2009

Government and Health Care

I've heard a few comments this week that summarize why there are doubts about government's ability to "reform" health care.

"Government does some things effectively, and a few things efficiently, but it never does one thing both efficiently and effectively."

The examples cited included the military and U.S. Postal Service. Yes, they function, but no one can claim, at least not with any honesty, that the Pentagon is efficient. Procurement is a nightmare and waste is rampant. Mistakes, even on the battlefield, are common because innovative thinking is rare. War games are, sadly, rigged to support preconceived notions that "more is better" -- more soldiers, more information, more technology. (Malcolm Gladwell has written on this, documenting the changes made during simulations to assure outcomes!)

"Any public option will either compete unfairly or end up needing a bailout. Look at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."

Yes, we also get our …

Reading Health Care Bills

This is the current mess of health care bills:
http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20090714/hr3200_summary.pdf
http://docs.house.gov/edlabor/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf

When I read the bills, they do worry me. I tell everyone, read the actual bills. Trust no press coverage. Anyone claiming these are an "improvement" forgets the HMO history:

In the Senate, Kennedy, author of the 1971 HMO Act: "I have strongly advocated passage of legislation to assist the development of health maintenance organizations as a viable and competitive alternative to fee-for-service practice..."

Signed in 1973. I have to ask: How did that Kennedy "improvement" work out for everyone? Senators at the time admitted, "The bill is a bit too complex to read and understand" (Senator Herman Talmadge, only "NO" vote -- and a Democrat.)