It is ironic that all of the proposed government prescriptions to bring down the cost of health care in medical terms would be considered malpractice. Malpractice, because they are prescribing treatment without a diagnosis.

The symptom is highly inflationary cost.

So, what is causing this? Diagnosis: Cost shifting.

Since Medicare’s inception in 1965, the federal government expanded coverage and participation. It was great. Billions were paid in benefits, and fraud soared. Then, all of a sudden, Medicare was going bankrupt. So, to save money, a payment schedule was devised — not based on what a procedure cost, but based on what Medicare could pay and still remain solvent.

For example: Imagine you telling Central Maine Power that you are responsible for paying only 70 percent of your electric bill. And, suppose that 40 percent of Central Maine Power’s customers did the same thing. What would happen to the cost of electricity? That’s right, it would go up to make up for the 40 percent of customers who were paying less.

This is quite simply known as cost shifting.

Cost shifting by Medicare is the primary reason health care costs have risen faster than the rate of inflation.

People need to oppose government health care and start holding elected federal officials accountable for a consistent pattern of cost shifting and repeated offenses of financial malpractice with taxpayer dollars, including Social Security and Medicare.

President Barack Obama’s proposal shouldn’t only concern people, it should outrage them.

Gary Bragg, Greene


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