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Adam Smith: Don’t expand health coverage with a blank check

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on July 30, 2009 at 8:35 pm with 2 Comments »
July 30, 2009 8:35 pm

One of our homeboy members of Congress, Adam Smith, called us from the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday morning to explain his uneasiness rushing health care reform (an uneasiness we share: see our editorial tomorrow).

“This bill is 1,000 pages long,” he said. “I just want to make sure we take time to understand it before we move forward on it."

Smith is right in identifying cost controls as the key to everything else.

"You will not be able in any sustained way to increase access if you do not control costs. There’s not enough emphasis on cost control at this point."

He argues that Medicare and other insurance plans have to move away from the traditional fee-for-service payment system, which rewards quantity of treatments as opposed to quality of outcomes.

Smith isn’t opposed to the controversial proposal for a so-called public option for health insurance, but he said if it were modeled on Medicare, it would “merely expand the inefficiencies of the current system.”

The fact is, the expense of American medical care has already broken the bank. The country has to get a lid on it. If that doesn’t happen in the current reforms – assuming they materialize – whatever comes out of Congress will be unaffordable.

Taking notice
Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. Papasan is right on! I read the Friday editorial on Adam Smith and I continue to be appalled by the TNT’s elitist, arrogant editorials on health care and their claims of concern about affordability. Where is all the concern on the part of the TNT and McClatchy Corporation about the cost of the military industrial complex and the banking bailouts? They sure didn’t suggest that Bush should spend any time looking at the facts before rushing to bomb the hell out of Iraq. Just how many more decades should we wait so that we aren’t rushing health care reform? It’s not just what the TNT chooses to editorialize about, but what they leave out—that these plans are affordable in other countries. How about when they consider affordability maybe, they consider how the top 10 CEOs in the pharmaceutical industry had a combined income of $199.4 million in 2008 and the top 10 CEOs in the health insurance industry weren’t that far behind. I’d say that those CEOs are unaffordable. Those are the pig at the trough, not the middle and lower income workers who just want affordable health care.

  2. notsurprised says:

    Im for Health care for All Working Americans, and a system that Insures the disabled and elderly. But I dont see how people figure our Goverment can run this system without even worse results than what we have now. Theres no Need to Pass the torch to the Goverment, just change some laws and limits on the exsisting heath care sytem. A Goverment takeover is not the answer to this problem.

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