Sunday, April 24, 2011

There Aren't Enough Rich People To Pay For Medicare And Medicaid!

I hear more and more of my progressive friends arguing, in the context of deficit reduction, that we should be raising taxes before getting aggressive about reducing the cost of Medicare and Medicaid -- as well as Social Security.To a point, I agree.This country is in such a hole that it is senseless to deny that at least some new taxes will be needed to pay for all of the nation's bailouts and

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Budget Fight: It Will Be A Long Hot Summer, and Fall, and Winter…

The good news is that Democrats and Republicans are finally seriously engaged over the country’s fiscal crisis.And, each side is presenting a starkly different course for the voters to choose from.When it comes to the health care entitlements, Republicans want to cut the health care entitlement benefits and therefore ease the pressure on federal spending.Obama wants to largely leave the programs

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What It Will Take to Bring America’s Health Care Costs Under Control––We Have to Change the Game

Last week, I posted that I was disappointed in Paul Ryan’s health care budget proposal because it lacked cost containment ideas other than the usual conservative reliance upon the market and defined contribution health care.In my last post, Why ACOs Won’t Work, I argued that the latest health care silver bullet solution, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), are just a tool in a big tool box of

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why ACOs Won’t Work

First, I think Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are a great idea. Just like I thought HMOs were a good idea in 1988 and I thought IPAs were a good idea in 1994.The whole notion of making providers accountable for balancing cost, medical necessity, appropriateness of care, and quality just has to be the answer.But here’s the problem with ACOs: They are a tool in a big tool box of care and

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The “Path to Prosperity”—Where’s the Health Care Cost Containment?

Paul Ryan’s overview of his proposed 2012 Budget Resolution contains an honest and compelling description of America’s debt and deficit spending dilemma.Every American should read it.As I read through his discussion of the huge hole we’re in and the imperative to fix it, he had me thinking that we finally have a politician willing and ready to deal with the problem. But when I got to the end of