Letter to the Editor: Prerequisites for Health Care Reform



Our government has proven to be extremely inefficient and generally ineffective at both delivering services and policing itself after the fact. Consider the recent stimulus spending as an urgent reminder of this: last week it was reported on the local news that New York State has spent over 750,000 dollars apiece for each new job created this year. It would be far cheaper and much more effective to send each and every unemployed individual a big fat check! We can’t accept that paltry level of efficiency from any taxpayer funded program.

Taxpayer sponsored health care services are already criminally dysfunctional; estimates of over 500 billion dollars annually in fraud, waste and overpayments have been documented by the current administration in Medicaid and Medicare. That makes them just as bad as or even worse than the private insurance providers they are pointing their fingers at. Why is it so hard to understand that if we don’t get this under control before we expand the system, we will only grow the waste and abuse along with it?

We could, recover the stolen $500 billion, fine and prosecute the perpetrators and easily cover most of the 47 million uninsured. At the same time we can discourage and eliminate criminal behavior via constitutional laws already on the books. Honestly, if our elected officials really want to change health care for the better, they already have the power and public support to pass consumer friendly legislation that encourages fair business practices. Tort reform, bulk prescription group purchasing power and the elimination of all anti-trust exemptions would be the best place to start. Try making health care affordable and competitive without trashing it first or the next bailout recipients will be Allstate and Geico. At the very least, these changes will make it more reasonable to consider expanded coverage later if need be.

These aren’t new ideas but they are reasonable prerequisites for the discussion of any health care reform. Government has to prove it’s up to the task, but it must first regain our trust.