Wave Is Wrong On Weiner
Despite The Wave’s gushing coverage of Anthony Weiner and his stand on Healthcare Reform, it is my considered opinion and that of the majority of Americans, according to recent polling data, that our Congressman is simply wrong on this issue. While your editorial board may agree with Weiner on the risible idea that the Republicans are a “wholly owned subsidiary of the healthcare industry” (why not call the Democratic Party: The marketing division of the AFL-CIO?) an honest examination of the facts might reveal some basic truth about the challenges facing us all.
I have written for two years about the “doctor fix” bill which deals with the reimbursements for doctor services by Medicare/Medicaid. This issue has not gone away and yet another one year extension was voted on in December 2010, pushing the issue of doctor reimbursement further into the future. Remember, the calculations that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Congressman Weiner use to tell us we will save money are based on an assumption that doctors will be getting a 23 percent pay cut in the near future. On and off the record both Democrat and Republican representatives have stated that such a pay cut to doctors would result in a mass exodus of doctors out of Medicare/Medicaid. Calculate the expense of keeping doctor wages on par with inflation and the “cost-saving” healthcare bill becomes a money loser over the next ten years, according to the same CBO. It was for this reason that this portion of healthcare “reform” was left out of the CBO’s calculations in 2010 at the request of the Democratic leaders pushing the Healthcare Reform bill.
Congressman Weiner’s press release states that the healthcare bill will save 1.4 trillion over the next 20 years. I would ask the congressman how this is possible when the cost to service the interest payments on the National Debt (14.3 Trillion) and the additional debt burden imposed by the Trillion dollar Healthcare bill, with its ever-expanding bureaucracy, will gradually eat away any planned savings? Consider a small rise in interest rates and all notion of saving money with the Healthcare Reform bill becomes an exercise in boating without a paddle.
In short, our Congressman and our President are cut from the same cloth, the cloth that smothers the golden goose that is the American economy. Sure it grows and produces tax revenue like nobody’s business but their mistake is to think that they can just fatten the goose up and get more golden eggs on the other side. It’s a load of pate if you ask any first year economics student.
At the base of Congressman Weiner’s philosophy is a Keynesian notion that enormous debt is just par for the course. This is ironic if you consider that the current economic mess is traceable to the Fannie Mae/ Freddie Mac debacle in which millions of individuals were given loans on homes that they could not afford. Everyone seemed surprised when the bills came due and the banks were left holding millions of worthless promissory notes that they had used to build their own house of cards with! Three years later and President Obama with Congressman Weiner as his cheerleader is attempting to go for broke by mortgaging our entire nation’s future, adding more to the national debt than all other previous presidents combined. This does not sound like a sound strategy to me. Maynard Keynes himself said the following on long term debt: “We’ll all be dead by then.” He was right about one thing; he’s dead and we’re left footing the bill. The 2800 page Healthcare Reform Bill continues to falter because of a basic flaw in its design: it attempts to place a huge entitlement and bureaucracy inside the structure of a free market healthcare system. Two systems which are inherently at odds. Proof of the design flaw: the fact that the President has had to grant hundreds and hundreds of waivers to companies that cannot meet the costly mandates of the bill (e.g. McDonald’s and 3M).
Furthermore, yesterday in Virginia, a Federal judge ruled the bill “unconstitutional” following an appeal by 26 states on its constitutional merits. Next stop is the Supreme Court. Repeal the bill or de-fund it and start the debate on a proper footing. Don’t pass a bill against bipartisan opposition and against the will of the large majority of Americans in a surreptitious manner. The people are not so gullible. The Wave would do well by itself and its readership by looking into the true cost drivers in medicine that aren’t being addressed. Here’s one lead; Tort Law Reform.
DR. HAROLD PAEZ