A recent ACC News Digest summary was headlined, “US healthcare spending saw largest one-year increase last year.” It goes on to excerpt from the Washington Post that “according to the CMS numbers. The 1.1% increase ‘in 2009 compared with 2008’ is ‘the largest one-year increase since at least 1960.’” And this occurred in the setting of a “contracting economy.” Further, it quotes a New York Times article reporting that a major factor was the increase in Medicaid enrollment and Medicaid spending as a result of rising unemployment. Finally, the Associated Press is cited as calling the report “a reality check in the debate over Obama’s healthcare plan, which has been dominated by disagreements over how large a role government should play.” CMS’ Chief Actuary Richard Foster ‘said the recession has only worsened the two stubborn problems facing the US healthcare system: lack of insurance coverage and high costs.’ He said, ‘All that argues that some form of healthcare reform is a good idea.’”

I see this as the mainstream media, once again, being out of touch, confusing the widespread displeasure of the American people toward the current paradigm for health care reform and the back room dealings with a desire for the status quo. I believe the people understand the lack of sustainability of the current system and the need for change. The sooner we put to rest this monstrosity of a bill (they’re now talking about “reconciliation,” Heaven help us) and get down to a renewed, serious bipartisan effort, the quicker we can move from obstructionist to revisionist mode.


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