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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tea Party Patriots of Pessimism

We all know that the long-term challenges are in health cost inflation, at least as much as the aging of the population.

What is the GOP-Tea response? Is there a great, inspirational "National Challenge", like taking us to the moon? Anyone leading the charge to innovation? A well heeled effort to "Whip (Health) Inflation Now, Building a Better Future" (apologies to the Ford era)?


Their answer, in summary, is to first define who pays (for failure). Wages will be indexed to health inflation, so that wages go down and there is no growing "claim" to redistribute wealth or income to cover health care costs that just won't sit.

Of course, that's the pessimists view of health care cost inflation, right? (It also removes the incentive for those who are best suited to pay for and demand innovation and new methods).

This is why I don't believe Governor Chris Christie, when he pretends he's being oh-so reasonable, by asking for just a small "contribution". Today it's 1%. Tomorrow it is another 1%, until potentially the entire cost is shifted.

If he were really nearly as honest as he thinks of himself, he would explain his position thus: "we are going to cut wages, again and again, because we have no ideas on how to rein in costs and we refuse to raise taxes in sensible ways to cover it, either in the short term or the long term".