Originally Posted by cragger
I am in complete agreement, we should be doing these things. Also in agreement regarding the health care problem as in past discussions on the BH boards. Health care cost containment will not happen without data-driven identification of the cost drivers that have the US spending more per capita than other developed nations to achieve results that are no better and in several metrics worse, and making the fundamental changes necessary to fix that cost for performance problem. Unfortunately there seems to be virtually no chance at all of that happening. In our present political climate, there seems to be no chance of any of these things happening.
True. With all of this, it strikes me that the problem is that people are not being specific. People like Mickey and Pinkerton and McArtle have all at least been honest enough at times to say that they are fine with paying more for health care (they've said other things I disagree with, of course), because they think the benefits are worth it. I know a number of others, including Dems, who think Obama was wrong to focus on cost-cutting at all, that people just want to be sure they get the benefits (as with some expansion of Medicare to all) and would be fine otherwise keeping many of the factors that lead American health care to cost more. That might be, but I think we definitely should identify and decide.
As a somewhat related aside, one of the consequence of the recession plus heath care reform at my office is that people are going to be made more aware of the amount the firm contributes toward their health care, as we pay the premiums -- something that should be considered as part of salary, but often has not been in most workers with health care's calculation as clearly as it might be. I think part of the health care problem is that people in general think there have been problems, but they really don't see the costs all that directly, if they have Medicare/good employer-based health care. (And, again, this is what most people worried about the changes wanted to keep, not some free market system that does not exist and without reference to whether it's really sustainable.)
And, back to the budget, I'm completely open to at least discussing just about any cuts, but I want the proposed cuts and the related savings identified. I suspect that much as people like the concept of cutting, they aren't willing to give up the expensive things at all. (I don't want to make major changes to Social Security and the like either, but I'm confident that the public and I are in agreement on this, so let's talk about it.)