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.
See here for more discussion.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

HCR Will "Create Savings" (Maryland) Or "Bankrupt The State" (Virginia)

Budget projections are like opinions, everyone's got one.  Wait...they ARE opinions.

An interesting article in the Washington Post (June 24) talks about how fuzzy the math will be in estimating the costs of health care reform (HCR).  Two states, Virginia and Maryland, make opposite predictions.  Virginia bemoans the large unfunded mandate that the law places on states, while Maryland trumpets the savings they expect from reform implementation.

The article goes on to explain why two adjacent states would have such widely different assessments.  Numbers are numbers, right?  But the article portrays the uncertainty among the assumptions both states make.

And it's not insignificant that politics plays a part:  Virginia is a Red State; and Maryland is among the Blue.

Given the government's history of controlling costs--that is, never doing so--would suggest that we listen more to Virginia, but that's just another assumption.

The best view is quoted in the article:
Darrell Gaskin, an associate professor of health economics at the University of Maryland, said the biggest unknown for states is that all of their models hinge on a larger question of whether the overhaul will succeed in bringing down the costs of care. "The real question is: Can everything together really bend that cost curve of care?" he said. "Without that, none of this will be sustainable."
My guess is that the reform will be re-formed to take out the toxic elements and minimize the damage, and we'll be left to cope with what's left, getting health care as best we can.

Doc D

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