Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Steamboat Springs I am writing in response to Paul Krugman's Saturday column about Medicare. He presents Medicare as the shining example of single-payer government health care for the elderly that we should all want for all our health care. How ridiculous.
Is it too much to expect some intellectual integrity from a Nobel Laureate? There is none in this column, for sure. He fails to point out that private insurance is carried (required?) by Medicare recipients and that the private insurance costs paid by others subsidize the Medicare system. Otherwise, doctors and hospitals could not make it.
The Medicare shortfall in pay is made up by others in the health care system. He also fails to point out that the Medicare system is bankrupt and completely unsustainable. The size of the unfunded liability is enough to make your head swim. I have Medicare, and I am healthy, so I experience few problems. My mother, who is 95 years old, is also in pretty good shape, but she needs health care on a regular basis. She has to have private supplemental insurance, and then she has to find a doctor who will accept what she has.
Oh, by the way, Krugman also fails to discuss the problems of access and ultimately supply of health care in the system he proposes.
There certainly is room for improvement in health care insurance, and the poor need to be helped by the rest of us in this area, as well as the other areas of basic needs. This kind of blatant dishonesty or deliberate deceit from people such as Krugman damages the efforts to achieve needed changes because credibility is so badly contaminated. We need good, honest thinkers in the community. They seem to be missing in the government for the most part. We also need to stop trying to kill a fly with a bazooka if meaningful improvements are to be had.
Henry R. Savage