The Reality of Healthcare Reform

These past months, we have been discussing reality - we are not doing well compared to other systems of care; we cannot afford to continue what we are doing--it's a veritable shell game.

These past months, we have been discussing reality - we are not doing well compared to other systems of care; we cannot afford to continue what we are doing--it's a veritable shell game. And then there are various forms of abuse to contend with: feds taking years to respond to an appeal, bureaucratic hurdles set by "insurers" doctors,' immoral over-billing, billing fraud, and 64 other explicit examples of practice exploitation. What can be done about inefficient and ineffective care? How can we improve decision making? What's missing from healthcare reform proposals--it's all here, but tempus fugit.

Here's Krugman's stern warning vis-à-vis Reforming Healthcare:

"If .... health reform fails, think of the message this would convey: It would signal that any effort to deal with the biggest budget problem we face will be successfully played by political opponents as an attack on older Americans. It would be a long time before anyone was willing to take on the challenge again; remember that after the failure of the Clinton effort, it was 16 years before the next try at health reform.

That’s why anyone who is truly concerned about fiscal policy should be anxious to see health reform succeed. If it fails, the demagogues will have won, and we probably won’t deal with our biggest fiscal problem until we’re forced into action by a nasty debt crisis. So .... If you care about fiscal responsibility, you better be afraid of what will happen if reform fails."

Paul Krugman, PhD, healthcare economist and op-ed columnist for the NY Times "Reform or Else" pub. Dec. 3, 2009