Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Minimally Invasive Procedure

Aside from all of the obvious issues with the health care reform bill(s) floating through Congress that have been discussed before both here, here, here, and here as well as all over the web, there are a couple of additional issues that I would like to address.

First - and I would be amused if I weren’t so incensed - the vigor with which Democratic congressman are defending a bill that they have not even read. Their constituents have read more than they have. It becomes more and more obvious how completely dependent our elected officials are on centrally prepared and disseminated talking points.

Secondly, I’m disturbed by the ease with which the Obama administration co-opted all of the peripheral “stakeholders” in the game: the AMA, the big pharmaceuticals, the hospital administrators, nurses unions and the AARP (who officially say they do not endorse the Obama-care legislation – too many members tearing up their cards) and of course every other union that line the pockets of the Democratic infrastructure. One can only wonder what deals were cut, what promises made to secure such lockstep support. The sheer disdain for the only stakeholders who count, the citizens, is appalling. I’m sure they figured that if they got all the big guys, the little people would just follow meekly; thrilled at the grand glorious plan developed for them by their betters.

I’m also disturbed by the fact that Obama says he’s going to pay for a lot of his plan through 2 mechanisms: eliminating waste and fraud in the Medicare system and saving $80 billion in drugs through reduced pricing from big Pharma. Here’s my problem: why don’t they just go ahead and cut out the waste and fraud from Medicare NOW? Since they know how much it’s going to save, they surely must know what and where all this waste and fraud are. And Pharma, if you can save the country $80 billion, how about you just go ahead and do it now? You’ve obviously already negotiated your price: longer patent time periods and stabilized pricing. Let’s just pass that legislation. Together with the reduced Medicare waste and fraud, that ought to be enough to pay for the actual citizens who are not insured.

I don’t know, I’m just asking.

Update 8-13: Even the left of leftie, Robert Reich, thinks the deal cutting with Big Pharma stinks. Makes you wonder even more what the rest of the deals consist of in this greatest of great White House take over.