I dropped my car off for repairs, and while waiting for the loaner car, had an opportunity to watch the news for about 20 minutes. The Fox network was on, and they were interviewing a Cardiologist who was suing the Obama administration over Medicare cuts that will take effect on January 1 2010. This cardiologist reported that the cuts are in the range of 40%, yes, 40%. This cardiologist then went on to say how many of her colleagues are going to go out of business, will have to lay off thousands of support staff, and in effect, ration care by limiting, or eliminating outpatient services. This cardiologist went on to discuss how most of the doctors will have to become employees of hospitals, where the care is 3-4 times more expensive than outpatient office visits. The ‘unintended consequences’ of these cuts will in effect, run most of the private practitioners out of business, reduce the availability of advanced screenings, such as nuclear medicine, reduce the pool of talented doctors, by attrition, and send medicine back to the ‘sickness’ model (treat the problem once it appears), versus the wellness model (preventative care).
Now, how can one realistically believe that anyone can take a 40% hit on their budgets and stay viable? Only idiots that work in a Mid Atlantic City, who don’t know what they are doing, but believe they know better than those in the field, want to dictate how everyone else has to live, and BTW have NO BUSINESS BACKGROUND. I know for a fact, as everyone else does, that these same idiots would never cut their budget even 4%, yet 40%. They scream and yell if the budget does not go up by nearly 10% a year, and they promise each other a goodie basket if they vote certain ways to pass laws that cost way more than private services, and spend money no one has. Has it dawned on these idiots that the parasites (them, the elected officials) are killing the host (us, the taxpayer)?
Immediately after this story, the topic of tax increases came up, and the commentator mentioned that for the ‘first time ever’ the Democrats were thinking about a national sales tax. The caveat of course, was not eliminating income tax for a national sales tax, but incorporating this new tax on top of the income tax. This is already on top of the Bush tax cuts that are set to expire in 2010, and will effectively add at least 10% increase in income taxes for those who pay taxes. Obviously, the government ‘cannot’ live without their (our) money, but it is perfectly acceptable to cut those ‘evil’ physicians fees by 40%. No one who is remotely awake is fooled by any of this gamesmanship, and these politicians are placating the ‘something for nothing’ group on the backs of those who are actually producing real goods and services.
I had to leave the waiting area, as I found my blood pressure rising to very unhealthy levels. As I drove home, I could not help but notice the flashing sign put on the local toll road reminding all of us schleps that the tolls are going up by … 40% this January 1, 2010! This is on top of the 19% increase on my property taxes, and whatever increase in the payroll taxes once the Bush tax cuts have expired. (This is not even including the much underreported inflation rate of such unimportant and unnecessary things like … food, shelter, transportation) I got a 2.5% pay increase for this year, and by doing simple math (not learned in the public school systems), I will be further in the hole at the end of next year than I am now. Unlike the government, I am dealing with a real budget shortfall, and unlike the government, I can’t print my way out of it, or write bad checks to cover it. I have to deal with a real budget cut, and if I spend more than I have, and try to steal it from others like the government does, I would end up in jail.
It would actually be refreshing if the government did what all Americans are forced to do: live within their budgets, and learn to cut where there is waste. This would require politicians that are honest, and have the ability and gumption to say no to the insanity. Given insanity is the norm for Washington, D.C, the current crop of elected officials feels right at home.
Quick comment on Sen. Ben Nelson’s ‘slide’ in the polls. The election for his seat is 3 years out. Let’s see how he looks then. Also, why aren’t there 59 other Democrats with the same low numbers????