We've moved!

Social Icons

twitterfacebooklinkedinrss feed

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Health Info Tech Will Cut Costs, Boost Economy

An eager reader submits this bucket of conservative slop on the health care provisions of the pending stimulus bill. Conservative think-tanker Betsy McCaughey looks at Obama's initiatives for eleectronic medical records and cost-cutting and sees black helicopters, Eurosocialism, and economic decline. She ends with this laugh line:

The health-care industry is the largest employer in the U.S. It produces almost 17 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Yet the bill treats health care the way European governments do: as a cost problem instead of a growth industry. Imagine limiting growth and innovation in the electronics or auto industry during this downturn. This stimulus is dangerous to your health and the economy [Betsy McCaughey, "Ruin Your Health with the Obama Stimulus Plan," Bloomberg.com, 2009.02.09].

Sure, technically, the 17% more that I will spend on health insurance this year could represent a boost to the GDP. I could also boost the economy by swerving my bike in front of a semi and incurring a couple hundred thousand dollars in medical expenses. But when health care is a "growth industry" (I'm still laughing), it too often plays a zero-sum game: the check I write for my jacked-up premium will be balanced by less spending on local goods and services. The boost my bike accident could provide to the local hospital will be balanced by my loss of productivity (not to mention flat-out medical bankruptcy).

McCaughey misses the point: making medicine more efficient and controlling costs will produce a health dividend: more people able to afford health care, more businesses able to spend less on health coverage and more on hiring and capital investments, and—oh yeah!—more people protected from medical errors and thus kept alive to contribute to the economy (not to mention the general happiness of their families and friends).

McCaughey thinks sloppy paperwork and more sickness are good for the economy. Let's hope the conference committee on the stimulus package thinks otherwise.


  1. Before you swerve in front of the semi, please come get your family portrait done at our studio in Rutland. We can then use the picture to figure out how to put you back together.

    I know...I've got a morbid sense of humor, but some things shouldn't be put off forever. Remember: pictures first - crushed by semi second.

  2. Well, they will only put him back together if the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology feels it is cost effective to do so.

  3. I've got an in there: the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology will probably be a DSU grad. Go Trojans!

  4. How about mentioning that the sainted Daschel in his book "Critical" stated that the president should hide this medical stuff in a stimulus bill so no one would know it was there until it was passed into law. Think it was on page 196 or so. And in the bill apparently is info that the HHS (you know, Daschle's hoped for job when he wrote the book) would have the power to determine what kind of health care was delivered and to whom, and there would be guidelines that hospitals would have to follow to be cost effective or they could be shut down. I don't think this is all black helicopter stuff, rather it is part and parcel of O's health care reform. As I approach older age, I would no longer be deemed necessarily cost effective for some procedures, regardless of waht my doctor would want. Is this really what you want our health care to be like?


Comments are closed, as this portion of the Madville Times is in archive mode. You can join the discussion of current issues at MadvilleTimes.com.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.