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  • Why the White House Is Wrong - Again - On Health Care Spending

    Nancy-Ann DeParle, the Director of the White House Office of Health Reform, posted a note – ironically titled “Reality Check” – on the White House blog this morning claiming that a new report from the federal government’s health actuaries supports the administration’s position on health care reform.

    But all that report says is that U.S. health care spending continues to increase – even though the rate of increase actually hit a historic low in 2008 (the latest year for which figures are now available). DeParle’s argument is basically this: We spend too much on health care, therefore the reform proposals currently in Congress will fix everything.

    However, DeParle seems to have missed the actuaries’ earlier report on what those reform proposals will actually do – which is, to make health care spending grow faster, not slower. In particular, actuaries estimate that if the Senate health reform bill becomes law, total U.S. health care spending would increase by 0.7%, or $234 billion through 2019. And that’s after taking into account what little savings would be achieved by cutting Medicare benefits and encouraging employer to cut health benefits by taxing private insurance plans that are “too generous.”

    In other words, the primary source of “savings” in the Senate bill comes not from making the health care system more efficient, but from (1) denying health care services to seniors under Medicare, and (2) from encouraging private insurance companies and employer to deny health care services to everybody else. Even after taking account of that so-called “savings,” total health care spending would still increase faster than it would without reform!

    The inescapable conclusion is that reform proposals currently in Congress will take an inefficient health care system and make it even more inefficient than it is now. One does not have to be one of what DeParle dismissively calls “defenders of the status quo” to oppose a reform plan that will produce a result clearly even worse than the status quo.

    DeParle claims that if “opponents of reform get their way,” health care spending will continue to increase. The fact is, if the administration gets its way, health care spending will increase faster than it does already and we’ll get less health care for our money. If opponents get their way, we might instead have real reform that gives patients more choices, gives providers incentives to give the best treatment instead of the most expensive treatment, and ultimately better health care at a lower cost. Unfortunately, that’s the opposite of the outcome the bills in Congress would give us.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    18 Responses to Why the White House Is Wrong - Again - On Health Care Spending

    1. Randy,SA TX says:

      we r rationaling health care now!

    2. victoria lamb says:

      Not exactly an objective voice, are you?

    3. Dr. with 30 years ex says:

      If this Senate bill passes, expect to see increased health insurance costs, loss of services, health care rationing and a woeful healthcare delivery system.

      The government is the last person I want running things.

    4. Bobbie Jay says:

      KILL THE BILL! It has no positive purpose, of for and by the people. KILL THE BILL!

    5. StL_Surgeon says:

      A 0.7% increase in total US healthcare spending by 2019 is FAR, FAR less than what current trends would project. Your conclusion is completely erroneous. Your 3rd link, to the previous report by CMS actuaries, has a conclusion that the proposed reform bills would likely REDUCE the federal deficit by 2019. The White House is RIGHT about health care spending.

    6. StL_Surgeon says:

      Pardon me, but the comment here by "Dr. with 30 years experience" makes me wonder what country he/she is practicing in. Here in the US, because of the efforts of private insurers, we have already seen "increased health insurance costs, loss of services, health care rationing and a woeful healthcare delivery system".

    7. John Roane Sarasota says:

      Quién le interesa cuánto cuesta su dinero del gobierno único de todos modos.

    8. curt L. Columbus, O says:

      If govt took over the bread industry and forced everyone to buy bread insurance, the government expenditure would be about $300 per loaf while the breadmakers would be forced out of business.

      Have some fun! Apply this theory on any private enterprise. (while it is still private)

    9. Bob, Portland, OR says:

      STL Surgeon, and you think a government run plan will be better?

      The Obama plan is laced with union pension guarantees, state kick backs and God know's what.

      If you are sick or injured in The United States, you are pretty much guaranteed TREATMENT.

      I know, I have friends who are sick, have no health coverage but they are getting TREATMENT.

      Darn good treatment.

      Under your plan, I'm sorry, Obama's plan, you get coverage, but no TREATMENT.

      What part of this don't you get.

      Obama care is about fleecing Americans out of their disposable incomes.

      It's about getting the money, not health care.

      For now, I think I'll stay with the treatment plan.

    10. TexansRfree says:

      Since when is the government responsible for controlling the cost of heath care? Since when has the government been able to run anything but the military and everyone complains that those cost are to high.

      I for one will take responsiblity for me and my family when it comes to heathcare, I don't need someone in DC forcing me into a system that is broken before it is started.

    11. Drew Page, IL says:

      Nancy Deparle says that the unnamed actuaries supports the administration's position on health care reform. Exactly what "position" is she referring to, the Senate's version, the House version, Mr. Obama's version (if indeed he has one)? Is it the version that Medicare actuaries said earlier that will cost more? Is it the version that will not include a public option, or funding of abortions, or cuts Medicare funding by $500 billion over 10 years, or the one where the taxes will begin immediately, while the "reforms" will be implemented four years from now?

      Are Ms. Deparle's comments to be given as much credibility as those from Ms. Jan Napolitano, who told us that "the system worked", when referring to the attempted bombing of an airliner bound for Detroit on Christmas day? Will Ms. Deparle's comments be subject to revision as quickly as Ms. Napolitano's?

      If you are going to be good in the propaganda business, you've got to do better than this.

    12. Illinois MD says:

      I'm not actually a Dr. but I can claim I am as easily as anyone.

      StL_Surgeon is an obvious Obama shill. Who could be naive enough to believe that we can reduce spending while not addressing tort reform, requiring more to be provided health care, and having the Federal bureaucracy running the show. It's absolutely ludicrous to put forth such claptrap.

      Cutting medicare will require those displaced to receive care under other programs or be left to die without treatment, what this is really about is control, about locking people into entitlement programs which puts them under the thumb of the Democratic radical leftists, and about further socializing the USA.

      That is the truth about this bad joke being sold as "reform".

    13. philip says:

      obama dose not stand for a free country.this is not health care its rationing who lives and who dies and they could care less just pass their bill the h with the people

    14. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 1.6.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    15. Pharmacist, Oregon says:

      To StL_Surgeon: (To sarcastically repeat your comment to "Dr. with 30 years experience") Pardon me, but the comment by "StL_Surgeon" makes me wonder what country he/she is practicing in — you say we have already seen increased health insurance costs — I will give you that, however isn't this because of government intervention into the insurance market which has limited competition? Haven't higher insurance premiums also resulted from all those lower reimbursements to Medicare/Medicaid patients which has forced providers to raise costs on private payers — you say there is "loss of services" — like what exactly? — sure, there are procedures/treatments which are deemed radical/experimental by private insurers, but patients have the option of filing appeals etc. There are drug formularies for each private insurance that directs patients to the lower cost generic med — but patients often can still get that brand name drug if they pay a higher co-pay — I see complete loss of services with the "government" plans — just one drug example, Medicare patients must pay full price for any prescription for cough — just not covered –if the senior on the fixed income desperate for relief from that terrible cough can't afford it — too bad — is this rationing — you betcha! — because any government system is unsustainable — denial for cough medication is only the tip of the iceberg if this "reform" passes

    16. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      What American so not seem to understand is that the Obama Administration is Hell Bent on spending all that it can possibly borrow and spend it on anything that it can, in order to bankrupt America.

      An increace over last year's budget for Welfare by 1.2 Trillion? Buying up Auto manufacturures? Bailing out Major Banks?

      Even J.P. Morgan only bailed out the major banks twice, beforehe said,"No more, let the system fall, and then let the system rebuild." That's when the Great Depresssion Hit.

      The longer you delay the 'Hangover" by staying drunk, the worse the "Hangover" will be, when you finaly run out of booze, if you do not die in the process, but you will have lost everything that you hold most dear before then.

    17. Drew Page, IL says:

      I have a suggestion for the St. L. Surgeon, and any other medical practioners who feel as he does. Instead of blaming the insurance for higher prices, lack of serives and 'woefull health care delivery' why don't you provide those services at no charge to patients without insurance?

      INSURANCE COMPANIES DON'T PROVIDE HEALTH CARE — DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS DO.

      Do you also blame grocery stores for not providing free food to those without money? How about car dealerships, do you blame them for not providing free cars to the poor? How about real estate companies, do you blame them for the homeless?

      If you feel the need to provide life's necessities to the poor, please do so, but do it with your own money.

    18. Woof says:

      The Lord will not bless a nation who kills its' young, euthanizes its' old, and has no use for the disabled. Woe to them who call evil good.

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