Congress is still talking about a “Grand Bargain” that “balances” far more spending cuts than tax increases. That is another way of saying that you – the consumer of Medicare and Medicaid services, the recipient of Social Security, and the average taxpayer will take the brunt of the spending cuts, while the wealthy get their income taxes restored, not raised, to their pre-Bush modest levels. Don’t buy it!
There are two ways to cut Medicare and Medicaid. The right wingers want to cut benefits. Consumers want to cut vendor fraud, the overcharging and the immense over-diagnosis, over-treatment and erroneous or unnecessary procedures and prescriptions documented so often by, among others, the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health.
Don’t think this is small stuff. The waste and fraud amount to hundreds of billions of dollars a year! Americans pay the highest prices for drugs in the world even though most of them were developed in the U.S. significantly based on government research, development and with tax credit subsidies for Big Pharma. Even Mr. Obama’s 2013 budget recognizes savings from excessive drug industry pricing.
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