Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Big Elephant in the Room During the Presidential Debate

Last night Tom Brokaw asked Barack Obama and John McCain to prioritize health care, Medicare/Social Security, and energy. Neither of them backed down from their promises to deal with all of them.

When Jim Lehrer tried to challenge them at the last debate on their ability to do all of the expensive things they want to do he got pretty much the same answer.

About the only two people in America that think we can do all of these things--or maybe any of them--would appear to be the two candidates.

So, why do we let them get away with the notion there isn't any reason why we can't have it all on top of their expensive plans for extending some or all of the Bush tax cuts and all of the bailout costs?

A couple of weeks ago I posted about, The Pretend Presidential Debate on Health Care--The Health Care Press Needs to Force the Presidential Candidates to Get Real on Health Care "Change".

Two debates later the press is still letting the candidates get away with their pretend campaign promises as if none of this were happening.

The real issue at hand is just what would each of the candidates be able to do on health care? What's the real health care strategy that each of them have in the face of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

In all likelihood the most we will see next year is a Medicare bill necessary to deal with the upcoming 21% Medicare physician fee cut. There is money for that in the extra private Medicare payments thereby satisfying the pay-go rules.

If there is any other money the Congress might try some modest expansion of SCHIP and maybe something to stem the enrollment bleeding in the small employer health insurance market. But even those things look like a long shot in the wake of the crisis.

Business as usual isn't an alternative.

Getting these guys to talk about the real world would be helpful!

Rrecent related posts:
What I'm Telling the Health Care Business About the Future

The Chance for Major Health Care Reform in Either 2009 or 2010 Is Now Zero
Avoid having to check back. Subscribe to Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review and receive an email each time we post.

Blog Archive