With health care, less is more

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To the editor:

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the proposed health care legislation will reduce the national deficit by 1.3 trillion. How nice (for the federal government). 

Insurers Medicare first and foremost will reimburse less to providers and we are somehow supposed to believe that this will trickle down to cost savings for individual patients. I doubt it, and not just because ultimately citizens will see a rise in their taxes and be forced into purchasing coverage.

Experiments show that sugar pills provide more relief when priced at $2.50 than at 10 cents. That is a “placebo price effect” that will be easy for providers to tap into as they attempt to supplement their income by pushing additional and/or pricier but somewhat unnecessary therapies and procedures. 

As in all other aspects of their lives, recession notwithstanding, Americans still believe that more health care “choice” is better. And therein lies the crux of what is wrong with President Barack Obama’s plan: There is little to no disincentive to decrease usage, which is where true savings begin.

I always thought the president’s proposal was flawed in that its framework was in extending coverage, not in cost containment, which has only been offered as an 11th hour tidbit to garner a few votes for passage. Ironically, Mrs. Obama is contemporaneously traversing the country on a quest to fight childhood obesity, i.e., delaying our youngest citizens’ entry into “the system.” 

It’s called “health care,” not “sickness care.” Perhaps in planning this overhaul, the president needed to look no further for inspiration than Mama Michelle. Less is more. Maybe then Virginia would not have to be contemplating “opting out.”

Karen Ann DeLuca

Alexandria


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