by j. wright October 22, 2009
In my construction supervision days, there was a time when the boss asked my Project Manager and me to each generate an estimate of a major renovation of an existing home in the exclusive Rancho Santa Fe community north of San Diego. It took us a couple of days and when we were finished, both of us had estimated a cost of slightly more than $700,000.
With estimates in hand we ventured into the boss’s office where he perused our numbers and began to line out various portions. We asked, “Are those items being deleted from the project?”
“No,” he answered, “Your numbers are too high.”
When the Senate Majority leader in Washington, D.C. attempted to remove about $250 billion dollars of future Medicare payments to doctors from the total cost of the proposed health care plan and pay for it “off budget” (Read: add it to the annual deficit.) the first thing I thought of was what my former employer attempted to create: a nice looking price, (a “low-ball”) but in the end, the home owner had to face the real cost of more than $700,000 as we had originally estimated.
I don’t know what most folks would call a stunt like that, but the word deceitful comes to my mind. The same applies to what the Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attempted. And to the credit of twelve Senators from his own party plus the opposing Republicans, his attempt failed miserably. Maybe that’s a harbinger of things to come if and when a nationalized health care bill comes up for a vote.
No doubt our current health provider system needs improving. Beginning with a simpler plan we can afford financially seems more in order than to venture into the unknown and create additional unacceptable debt.
One such idea comes from the Coalition to Protect Patients Rights, an organization that opposes congressional efforts to revamp the health-care system, the group opposes all the legislation being proposed in the House and the Senate. The bills avoid giving patients control of their health care.
The coalition’s stance includes:
1. allowing people to buy insurance across state lines,
2. advocating for health savings accounts,
3. opposing the public option of government-run insurance and
4. giving patients vouchers and tax credits to purchase insurance.
The group also wants a revamping of medical malpractice suit filings that they say adds billions to health-care costs annually. Quoting one of the doctors involved, “What we want is a system where the patient controls their own destiny.”
Baby steps... not a total overhaul of our existing system.