What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: "At one point several weeks ago," Mr. Boehner says, "the president said to me, 'We don't have a spending problem.' " ...I find that fascinating. How can that make any sense at all? If the problem is health care, then they must believe one or more of the following things about health care:
The president's insistence that Washington doesn't have a spending problem, Mr. Boehner says, is predicated on the belief that massive federal deficits stem from what Mr. Obama called "a health-care problem." Mr. Boehner says that after he recovered from his astonishment—"They blame all of the fiscal woes on our health-care system".
- Private firms are making too much profit,
- With more preventive care we can save enormously on later treatments and/or
- Health care allocation is way out of balance.
To think that we can find a trillion dollars a year in government savings with those three things boggles the mind. #1 is not born out by the financial statements of the companies involved, #2 sounds like one of those Lean Six Sigma hallucinations about efficiency and #3 flies in the face of millenia of experience about central planning.
Focusing on the profit idea and looking at Aetna, one of our big health insurance firms and presumably a Vortex of Evil, it's net profit margin is 5.88%. That's not exactly robber baron territory right there. It's total net profit for 2011 was $1.98B. Stomping on one of our largest insurance companies and taking all of its disgusting profits would take care of less than half a day of government borrowing.
This is basic math. Does anyone in the White House understand basic math or have their PowerPoint presentations achieved such a level of sophistication that they no longer resemble anything in the real world?
Or is it that their boss thinks he knows more than everyone else and won't listen to reasonable voices so the math never reaches him or is dismissed out of hand?
|“I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”|