nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Friday, September 5, 2008

Where Do We Focus Out Attention in Healthcare?

I wrote this a few weeks back, and held on to it for awhile to see if anything changed. It didn’t.

CMS on Monday announced that it has granted Massachusetts a third extension on a Medicaid waiver that would allow the state to divert $385 million in federal funds for the program towards funding for the state's new health care law, the AP/Boston Globe reports. The current waiver would have expired on June 30, but the renewal extends it an additional two weeks to Aug. 11. According to the AP/Globe, the state Legislature is in the midst of developing legislation that would require employers to cover an additional $130 million in costs under the health care plan, and both chambers are expected to work out a resolution by on Thursday (AP/Boston Globe, 7/28).

Doc D: Some time ago I wrote about the candidates’ plans for healthcare reform, arguing that none of them account for the major elements necessary to success. Also, that Massachusetts had passed a law providing universal coverage and was already experiencing problems with not having addressed access, cost, and quality. The excerpt above highlights what I would have expected: funding problems. Also, note that MA is now passing along the increased cost to employers, who will then transfer the cost to employees through reduced hiring, increased layoffs, and no salary increases. Does this sound like a circular process to you? Note the excerpt below:

San Francisco Chronicle: "both candidates are mostly silent on the building tidal waves around Medicare and Social Security, which face rising bills, longer enrollment lists and gridlock politics," according to the editorial. Both Obama and McCain are "headed in the wrong direction," and their "appealing plans will add to the debt, piling up billions more that will prolong a downward slide," the editorial states, adding, "Voters shouldn't be fooled into thinking anything else" (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/30).

I think we deserve better than we’re being offered. The candidates programs just mollycoddle us with high minded sound bites.

Doc D

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