Medical Care is a Wild Card

Health spending in the United States exceeded two trillion dollars in 2006 and will increase substantially for 2007. That is a hell of a lot of money, my friends.

Health spending in the United States exceeded two trillion dollars in 2006 and will increase substantially for 2007. That is a hell of a lot of money, my friends. You could not fit that much paper money in your garage, a four-car garage, plus your swimming pool and guest house.

That figure is with Medicaid on the decline as a percentage of the total. Medicare banged like hell on the door of the bank with growth at its fastest pace since 1981. Medicare Part D is the culprit and we all know that Part D is a failed program in many ways. The biggest beneficiaries are the pharmaceutical manufacturers and the insurance companies. Our patients are just fodder for their profits.

Watch out. I have heard that huge corporations will be pushing for what the scaredy cats call “socialized medicine” simply because they cannot afford the outrageous premiums for group medical for their employees. Once they put their muscle behind the idea of a single payer, it will be a “slam dunk.” Imagine General Electric lobbyists fighting with the AMA and the APhA on this. Single payer!

How can we spend, as a country, $7,000.00 per person on medical care and still have children left out? Why does the father of a family of four, with a job that provides a good wage but no medical, have to take a second mortgage on the family house to pay for his child’s care? Ten days in the hospital with no real illness, but ten days of tests and doctors and you gotta budget crisis in the Jones’ household. The father is good providing the big three. Food, clothing and shelter. Medical care is a wild card.

Okay, okay. I’m outing myself. I am a bleeding heart liberal. Just take a few minutes to get your leisure mind off the condominium, the escape to the desert spa with the girl friend and your lust for the “good things” and take a peek at what is paying the freight. The way it is now will not last. Look north. It is seriously flawed up there, but cheap.

There has to be a middle ground that will save our asses, but we need to pay attention and figure this out. How do we give people adequate care without breaking the bank?