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Budget and Cost Control Not the Conservative Agenda

October 16, 2013

Budget and Cost Control Not the Conservative Agenda

“What’s remarkable is that policymakers refuse to acknowledge and address the root cause of health care cost growth in the U.S.”  .. from the end of the story.

  1. The US budget is $3.8T-trillion. 
  2. US health care spending is $2.3T.
  3. The government pays 45% of this cost.
  4. One fourth, $0.25T, is spent during the last year of the recipient’s life.
  5. This one expense is a third of the annual deficit and is growing as we ALL will age.

There are reasonable ways to provide good care within a cost cap! We all will die one day and Congress can either make us age faster or vote to make health care changes now. That is NOT the repeal Obamacare agenda.


Why we are where we are! 

Big money wins over the average man on the street!

PBS Reported ,

“Spending on political television advertising could hit $3 billion for the midterms, a sum that proves just how vital the tool is for campaigns to get their message out.”

Washington Post,

“As of last week, House and Senate campaigns reported taking in more than $1.5 billion, exceeding the total collected by congressional candidates in 2006 and in 2008, FEC data show. Most of that money already has been put toward advertising and other expenses.

The Public Campaign Action Fund, a watchdog group, will release a study Tuesday predicting that House candidates alone could spend nearly $1.5 billion by the time the dust settles on Election Day

New York Times,

In all, about $235 million has been spent on ads attacking the law since its passage in March 2010, according to a recent survey by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group. Only $69 million has been spent on advertising supporting it.

“ObamaCare” aka the Affordable Health Care Act clearly LOST by a 3 to 1 margin in the money vote!

 The diehard Republican House is working to be sure they have the money to sell their usual cost control story to conservative voters via big bucks TV ads paid for by the “winners” in the health care industry. These power brokers want to keep getting that $2T revenue as they squeeze the blood out of nearly dead senior citizens and coin phrases like, “death panels” to scare seniors.


This is not rocket science. The charts below tell a clear story.

A matching reduction in defense spending will get the annual deficit to zero in a few years, The GOP House is masking as the cost control guys while keeping their big buck donors on the take.



I, a Medicare recipient, went to the doctor because water from swimming was clogging my ear. The nurse practitioner checked my heart rate which is always low. She then suggested / insisted that I needed an EKG. I said “no”. She described how grim the emergency room would be if I was wrong and she was right. She said it will not cost me anything. Again I disagreed, but succumbed. I never did see the bill.

By contrast, if you were in the McDonalds drive through and the speaker said, ‘

“Do you want fries with that?’  … pause, “They DO NOT cost anything” There would not be enough potatoes in Idaho to meet the demand and somehow SOMEONE WOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM.

Enjoy this article.


Ben Claassen



see graphs via this linj


8 Charts That Explain the Explosive Growth of U.S. Health Care Costs

By: Sean Davis | October 01, 2013


Today marks the official rollout of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature health care law. Beginning on October 1, individuals will be eligible to sign up for new health plans administered by the health care exchanges created by Obamacare. In theory, that is. Many state health exchanges are not even close to being operational.

In honor of the current administration’s complete inability to implement the law despite having more than three years to prepare for it, here are 8 charts that help explain why health care costs in have America exploded over the past several decades, and why Obamacare will do nothing to address the problem.

1. Before Medicare and Medicaid were enacted in 1965, most health spending in the U.S. was out-of-pocket, meaning that health consumers were very sensitive to the costs of their health care decisions.




2. After Medicare and Medicaid were enacted, health care spending in the U.S. skyrocketed.


3. Private insurance and Medicare/Medicaid/CHIP basically replaced out-of-pocket spending, a new dynamic which insulated the consumers of health care from the actual cost of health care. Unsurprisingly, this dynamic resulted in rapid cost growth.


4. At the same time, Americans began to live longer and longer.


5. And each extra year appears to cost even more than the previous one. In 2011, for example, each day of additional life expectancy compared to 2010 cost $1.6 billion.


6. As Americans live longer, they become more susceptible to costly diseases and ailments that are less likely to affect younger people.


7. It turns out that end-of-life care for chronically ill individuals costs a lot of money, especially when those costs are not paid directly by the person receiving treatment.

8. According to one study, nearly 30 percent of all Medicare costs in the U.S. are spent on treatment for individuals during the last 12 months of their lives. Those individuals comprise only 5 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries.


Unfortunately, Obamacare does nothing to realign the incentives of patients, health care providers, and insurers.

The individual mandate, for example, forces young and healthy individuals to subsidize older, less healthy individuals. At the same time, Obamacare prohibits those young and healthy individuals from only buying the health care they need. Instead, it forces them into costly insurance programs that may not come close to matching their needs or their affordability requirements.

Obamacare also did nothing to address the incentive problems inherent to Medicare. Despite massive technological achievements in the field of medicine that have changed how people are diagnosed and treated, Medicare has hardly changed at all. It remains a primarily fee-for-service program, in which health care providers are incentivized to provide more services in order to receive more fees. At the same time, patients are also incentivized to demand more and more services since the program insulates them from the costs of those services. The result? Higher costs.

And as shown in chart 3 above, the fee-for-service Medicare model has completely overtaken the U.S. health care system.  With all that in mind, it’s no wonder that U.S. health care costs have exploded. What’s remarkable is that policymakers refuse to acknowledge and address the root cause of health care cost growth in the U.S.




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