Friday, September 4, 2009

The Real Health Care Problem Is Structural Not Moral

"It's the System". by Paul Howard, City Journal, September 3, 2009.
Changing its tactics in the health-care debate, the White House has begun stressing the moral imperative to provide health insurance to all Americans. “I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper,” President Obama now argues. “And in the wealthiest nation on earth right now, we are neglecting to live up to that call.” But Obama is just plain wrong that America is neglecting its obligations to the most vulnerable. The real health-care problem is not moral but structural and systemic.

We already spend hundreds of billions of dollars every year providing health care to the elderly, through Medicare, and to the poor, through Medicaid. The first of these programs—which, experts estimate, may squander up to $60 billion every year in waste, fraud, and abuse—is running a staggering, and unsustainable, long-term deficit of $38 trillion. The second is in even worse shape, with a 2006 survey finding that as many as half of all physicians have either stopped accepting new Medicaid patients or limited the number they’ll see because reimbursements are so low. On paper, poor patients have great government insurance; their only problem is that they can’t find a doctor.
Read the entire City Journal article here.

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