The hot topic today is healthcare reform. The president will have an infomercial on ABC telling the nation why a government run insurance plan is necessary. Many are for and many are opposed to government involvement in healthcare. You hear comments that a government run healthcare program will force all private health insurance companies out of business. Another possible result would be healthcare rationing because you are putting in fifty million more insured into a system that has not expanded and this will clog the system and result into long waits for medical procedures. These may happen. This is not about the future, this is about past performance.
For example, the United States Postal system has over 785,000 employees and is the third largest employer in the United States. Revenue for 2007 was near 75 billion dollars with a net loss of over 5 billion dollars. This gigantic loss will have to be made up with higher postal fees.
Social Security is going broke. As long as I can remember many presidents say that Social Security must be fixed. However, nothing is done about it and the nation is just waiting for dooms day to come. Social Security will bring in a surplus this year. However, the projection is that this trend will cease in 2016 and then the payouts will be more than money brought in. unfortunately, all the excess in the previous years has been entered into the general fund and spent on other government obligations. If nothing is done Social Security will be broke.
Along Social security is Medicare. According to the 2008 report by the board of trustees for Medicare and Social Security, Medicare will spend more than it brings in from taxes in 2008. The Medicare hospital insurance trust fund will become insolvent by 2019. If nothing is done Medicare will go broke. I have heard of cases that doctors do not even accept Medicare patients because of the slow pay and the low payment amount for procedures. Before I turned 65 I confronted my then doctor and asked if his office accepted Medicare. He responded that we will discuss it when the time comes. I looked at the patients in his office waiting room and noticed that all the patients were in the prime of their life. I came to the conclusion that I had better make a change before I turned 65. No way did I want to shop for a doctor after I turned 65.
I read in the Denver Post newspaper today, “House ok’s bill to better fund veteran’s care”. The purpose of the bill is to prevent delays in financing for veterans health care programs. This problem has disrupted veteran’s healthcare services for decades.
These are government run programs that have major problems. Government run programs have not shown stellar results. As you see or read about the president’s government healthcare program think about the following question. Will the new government healthcare program fall into the same black hole along with the postal service, Social Security, Medicare, and Veterans healthcare? You decide.