Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Health Reform Endgame? or Foreplay?

Crunch time in health care reform. Public option or not, we'll just have to see. The Catholics, with the same wonderful sense of timing that started the Inquisition, try to retard abortion by extortion - waddya want, health care reform or not? Terrific.

Pharma does great selling more brand named drugs and patents on biotech go up to 12 years, hospitals get all those paying patients and hardly any nonpayers, and health insurance? Some costs go down, actually, because they don't have to underwrite, they keep administering the big time ERISA accounts, and look at all those new policies! With no limits on prices. Wow.

The nurses get a lot! They don't need to be beholden to doctors (their dream!) to head a Medical Home project, and they have some other kind of project they can head that I forget right now. Plus educational money for the academic nurses. The Public Health people get billions, and Community Health centers get $1 billion now and up to $4 billion in four years. Not a bad haul.

The academics always get something - money for training in primary care, a pursuit that they continue not to make more attractive by simply raising the take.

OK - that's the facts, pending the Senate. But we just have to look at it this way -- the logjam is being broken. Health care has been so impacted that nothing has moved for years as the pressure has built up from behind. So, this is the beginning. Who knows how it will come out? But the clear need for reform just from the standpoint of cost, forget quality, will make sure that stuff happens. What is happening now will be enough to set the forces free. I'll try to figure out where a little later.

Figured I had to write something. Been too long.

Budd Shenkin

Health costs? Nothing right now, something maybe

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