The demand for universal coverage sounds like a moral imperative to “take care of everybody,” but in reality it would make only a marginal difference when it comes to the overall health of the American population. The sober reality is that universal coverage is another way to spend money, which may or may not be a good idea.No where is this better seen than in the case example of "prevention" being promoted in the most recent Time Magazine article, "This Doctor Does Not Want to See You." (Recall that Cleveland Clinic is one of those magic centers that provides Medicare care at less than the national norm):
The most likely possibility is that the government will spend more on health care today, promise to realize savings tomorrow and never succeed in lowering costs. It is rare that governments successfully cut costs by first spending more money.
The Cleveland Clinic and its 10 sister hospitals employ 40,000 people in Ohio, Florida, Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Cosgrove's idea is to turn those campuses into living laboratories, where healthy behavior is rewarded (with cash incentives if necessary) and people start thinking about health as an investment and a responsibility. In a demonstration of this commitment, Cosgrove even created new executive positions, including chief wellness officer, chief empathy officer (now changed to chief experience officer) and arts-program curator. These are not titles you're likely to find in any other organization.And for good reason. "Chief Wellness Officer?" "Chief
When the government can show me they can balance the budget for our existing Medicare or Medicaid programs (the larger of which still only pays eighty percent of health care costs, by the way), then I'll start believing that they might be capable of handling the much ballyhooed $1.5 trillion dollar reform package soon-to-be presented before Congress responsibly.