A.J. DiCintio
How Prince Hamlet saves Medicare
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By A.J. DiCintio
August 26, 2012

As the past three and a half years have revealed, devotees of the Chicago Machine are meticulously trained to pervert language with insidious vagueness aimed at disguising radical beliefs; vile accusations of racism spewed for rank political gain; and shameless twisting of truth delivered so brazenly that abject failure is hailed as resounding success.

It is not surprising, therefore, that because Mitt Romney has promised to restore $716 billion the president plans to cut from Medicare over the next ten years (to help cover the tab for Obamacare, about which Democrats lied a trillion dollar lie), we are hearing the stunning claim that the cuts are necessary to save the program from becoming insolvent.

Yes, the latest gusher spewing from this White House and its slobbering sycophants depicts Barack Obama as The Hamlet of Medicare who "must be cruel, only to be kind."

Problem is, the glib but inexperienced and dangerously impetuous original Hamlet, a master of wasting precious time and opportunity by endlessly pronouncing "words, words, words," didn't accomplish anything except to pile the kingdom high with dead bodies whose number included Ophelia, his ostensible beloved.

Revealing once again that great art is always true to life, our teleprompter-glib Hamlet is set to leave Medicare (and the rest of the nation's medical system) mortally wounded as a result of his mad obsession with centralized government as taught by the leftist ideologues to whom he has been (in his own word) "drawn" since his youth.

To explain this tragedy, let's begin with the argument for President Hamlet's cuts as a perfectly rational act carried out in the name of saving Medicare.

As reported in the NYT, administration supporters claim that because they will be borne solely by healthcare providers, seniors will continue to receive the same care they currently enjoy without bearing the cost of increased premiums, even as Hamlet "saves" a cool $716 billion.

Sounds good for Medicare patients doesn't it?

But perhaps it's too good to be true, which it is, as revealed by the following, which the Times article attributes to Medicare's trustees and Richard S. Foster, chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"The trustees and the actuary . . . suggested that over time the scheduled cuts to providers' payments could prove unrealistic."

Then, there's this exclusively from Chief Actuary Foster:

". . . there is a strong likelihood that [the cuts] will not be viable in the long range. The best available evidence indicates that most health care providers cannot improve productivity to this degree, or even approach such a level, as a result of the labor-intensive nature of [their] services."

Here, therefore, is the bottom line regarding the effects of Hamlet's cuts, based upon the analysis of hard numbers by independent healthcare professionals:

They will lead either to draconian reductions in services to Medicare patients or will greatly hasten the program's descent into insolvency.

Either way someone or something is left dead on the floor.

But just as sensible behavior could have avoided tragedy in Shakespeare's play, the same is true regarding Medicare and the rest of America's healthcare system.

Such behavior, however, required Barack Obama to forgo his hasty, ruthless shoving of "Obamacare" down the nation's throat in favor of working for real reform that saves trillions of dollars over ten years by allowing doctors, consulting not with politicians but the public, to develop enforceable standards of care practices that put an end to the "legal" healthcare fraud ravaging this nation

. . . saves $1 trillion by requiring hospitals to religiously carry out simple, known practices that prevent hospital-acquired infections

. . . saves at least $500 billion through sensible tort reform that puts an end to most "defensive medicine" (In contrast, our shamelessly political Hamlet exempted the Democratic Party darling that is the $200 billion a year trail lawyer industry from contributing a single cent toward solving healthcare's cost problem.)

. . . saves billions more by instituting sound business and technological practices at every step of the healthcare ladder

. . . saves further billions by allowing citizens to purchase policies tailored to their needs from any insurance company operating in any state

That kind of brave, innovative reform would have put the country on a sound path to preserving Medicare as well as reversing the deadly healthcare cost curve, even as it would have freed up funds to provide health insurance assistance to the nation's poor and unemployed.

But true healthcare reform was never possible owing to the ideology of our feckless, flailing Prince who received his most important education not in the real world workplace but in Chicago from true-believing leftist mentors and corrupt radical-liberal politicians.

Which brings us to his bid for another term and the thought that no matter how many times we see or read Shakespeare's drama about the Prince of Denmark, its tragic outcome is always the same.

© A.J. DiCintio

 

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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.

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