Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Timely Update On Health-Care Benefits And Costs

Since I just posted a blog that (in part) questions the costs associated with the health-care legislation, I find it particularly interesting that two very recent articles seem to confirm that congress used very suspect figures and reports to justify their actions. Full disclosure compels me to openly admit that in all likelihood, I will personally benefit from the new health-care laws, as will I believe, millions of Americans. But that doesn't justify the chicanery and obfuscation that we've gotten on this topic from our friends in Washington and that is the point that I drive at in my prior posting.

The first article is an op-ed piece by Karl Rove who clearly is as partisan as one can be. Nevertheless, he almost always stitches together his facts better than Obama ever has, and according to Rove, the actuarial assumptions used by the health-care stalwarts are incredibly inaccurate. From my perspective, the signal sent by many giant corporations that rushed out with write-offs related to the new laws simply amplifies the message that all these new regulations will cost a ton. Here's Rove's WSJ editorial:

So if one can't credibly assert that we'll save money with the new health-care legislation, then perhaps Obama, Reid, Pelosi and their cohorts can say with confidence that we will now get better care, and that they have unassailable evidence to support their conclusions. It turns out that the lawmakers did consult independent studies, including one from Dartmouth, but that this particular study is not only deeply flawed but also, it never intended to extrapolate health-care quality. Here's the opening paragraph from the NY Times article (of all places for this to be published!?)

"In selling the health care overhaul to Congress, the Obama administration cited a once obscure research group at Dartmouth College to claim that it could not only cut billions in wasteful health care spending but make people healthier by doing so."

And here's the bottom line as quoted:

"But while the research compiled in the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care has been widely interpreted as showing the country’s best and worst care, the Dartmouth researchers themselves acknowledged in interviews that in fact it mainly shows the varying costs of care in the government’s Medicare program. Measures of the quality of care are not part of the formula."

If you want to read the full story (highly recommended) then follow this link:

Right now nobody knows whether the health-care situation will improve or deteriorate under the recent legislation, time will tell, I am not optimistic about it but I do hope for the best. But when elected officials, including the President use bogus and/or poorly vetted statistics to manipulate the results they are trying, a priori, to achieve, then we can properly impugn their motives and challenge their integrity, yet one more time.

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