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.

Friday, January 14, 2011

26th State Joins Supreme Court Challenge To Health Care Reform (HCR)

According to legal experts, this is the first time in US history that a majority of states have sued the federal government over passage of a major piece of legislation.

Kansas has asked to join the suit.  Along with the 20-state suit, and suits by individual states, the total comes to 26.  Surveys continue to show that slightly less than 2/3's of citizens are unhappy with the law.

I'm bored with the health care reform debate at this point.  My view, which I've written about extensively--and don't care to repeat extensively--is that HCR  was a missed opportunity.  See here for the basics.

The summary of all that work: desperately needed reform, incompetently executed.  The politics drove the result, which gave us a massive entitlement that can't be sustained.  See my Poison Pill series for all the bad juju that was revealed after the bill was passed.

Longtime readers know that I see the health care system as principally composed of issues involving four elements:  coverage, cost, access, and quality.  They are interlinked and equally important to the overall functioning of the system.  The recently passed law focuses principally on the coverage part, adding everybody to the rolls.  Cost is not addressed except as a "price control" effort, which economists agree has never worked.  Access is addressed by promises of expanded numbers of some point in the future...and incentives to make care to the underserved more attractive that are re-hashed versions of efforts that have been tried...and have failed....several times over the last 40 years.  Lastly, quality improvement was seen as a regulatory imperative...more regulations to report and administer health care (raising costs..see the linkage?);  new data is showing that the expected reductions in medical error from efforts such as these are not emerging.

So, overall the law was a failure in three of the four basic elements.

Will the law be repealed?  Doubtful.  Will the Supreme Court rule parts of it unconstitutional?  My guess is, 50-50 chance.  But major changes will have to occur as costs continue to rise and access to care plummets. 

But Congress doesn't normally act until we reach the precipice from which only draconian measures will rescue us from their incompetence.

Doc D

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