Volume 2 July 15, 2009 Health Care Reform

“Cost” of current Health Care Reform proposal over ten years: $1 trillion (12 zeros )

This “cost” is the expense of subsidizing equal access to health coverage benefits for

more Americans; an investment that might have a quicker return than the “cost” of several

aircraft carriers or the preservation of more forests.

Percent that the AMA promised Obama that physicians could slow the growth of medical care costs

per year for ten years: 1.5

Estimated “savings” that represents:   $1 trillion (12 zeros)

Estimated average reduction of annual health care costs for a “typical” family: $2,500

Amount hospitals offered to “give up” in future Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements:  $155

billion (9 zeros)

Amount pharmaceutical companies promised to Senate Finance Committee (Chairman, Senator

Baucus) to “give up” over ten years:  $80 million (7 zeros)

Amount former Health South CEO Richard Scrushy has been ordered by a state court to pay back

to stockholders who sued him for massive accounting fraud:  $2.88 billion (9 zeros)

This was a civil suit filed after he had been acquitted in a federal crime case about “faked”

reports filed with regulators from 1996 to 2002.

Percent of Americans currently covered by Medicare:  15

Percent of Americans currently uninsured:  15

Percent of uninsured remaining after implementation of Massachusetts Health Reform of 2006:  2.6

Estimated and actual cost of Mass Health Reform for 2008 respectively: $400 million / $625 million

Amount MassHealth reimburses hospitals for services to poor patients: < 70 cents on a dollar

Number of pages in Senator Kennedy’s Health Care Reform bill (Senate Committee on Health,

Education, Labor, and Pension -HELP):  615 (reduced from 850  pages in the first draft)

Number of pages in Republican’s health care reform proposal: 3

Estimated percent reduction of uninsured under HELP bill:  3  (from 15% to 12%)

Number of House Committees working on a draft of a Health Care Reform bill: 3

Number of ALL Health Care Reform bills that include a “single payer mechanism”:  0

Percent of people polled who favor a single payer system in February 2009:  59%

Percent of 2,000 physicians polled who favor a single payer system in April 2008:  59%

One working title of the House draft of Health Care Reform: “Comprehensive Incrementalism”

Potential “fatal flaw” shared by Presidents Hoover and Obama despite both “being able to see the

big picture” and both “being perceived as problem-solving saviors” when elected in the midst of

financial turmoil:  “incrementalism”


“If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.” — Otto von Bismarck


“Achieving Health Care Reform – How Physicians Can Help”; NEJM 360:24, pg. 2495; Fisher,

Berwick, and Davis

“The Proposed Government Health Insurance Company – No Substitute for Real Reform”; NEJM

360-22, pg.2274; V. Fuchs

Associated Press, Cape Cod Times, June 19, 2009

“Mass. Appeal”; Hospitals and Health Networks, May 09, pg. 27, H.D. Larkin

“Building Momentum as Democrats Forge Health Care Reform”; NEJM 360”23, Pg. 2385, J.


http://www.medpagetoday.com/Washington-Watch/Washington-Watch/14955 July 9, 2009

NY Times random telephone Poll, February 2009; Annals of Internal Medicine vol. 148, April 1,

2008; A. Carroll, R. Ackerman

“Barrack Hoover Obama: The Best and the Brightest Blow It Again”; Harpers Magazine, July 2009,

pg. 29 – 37

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