Thursday, December 1, 2016

On Trump's Appointment of Tom Price for HHS


Well, we learned this week that Representative Tom Price, from Georgia, is Donald Trump's pick to head up Health and Human Services.  In my mind it was a great pick.........but don't expect Price to win confirmation by Congress.

Price has long been an advocate of privatizing Medicare and Medicaid...and liberals don't even want to know what he thinks about Obamacare.

So millions of liberal tails were on fire on Tuesday.  It was straight out of one of those "throw grandma off the cliff" commercials that dominated the airwaves four years ago.  But, if we are being realistic, if we are serious about stopping the flow of red ink in the federal budget, we have no choice but to look at ways to cut a program that consumes over a third of our annual budget.

So is Trump and Price planning to indeed "throw Grandma off the cliff?"  No.  First of all Trump would be impeached at any hint of hurting our elderly.  But we do have to look realistically at the massive fraud, waste and abuse in the program...something I've written about endlessly over the years.  Furthermore, I'm elderly myself, live in a senior community, and am witness to many instances where Medicare or Medicaid forked out our tax dollars for things not needed, nor earned.

For instance, we've seen incidents where the Russian Mafia (the Russian Mafia for god's sake!) skimming billions of dollars in fraudulent Medicare billings.  We've found scams with prescription drug cartels, we've uncovered stories of Medicare paying out three and four times higher costs for mobility scooters (and, really, does every swinging elderly dick really need a mobility scooter?)  And do we really need to pay for incontinence pants and do we really need to be so generous in paying for home health aides....what ever happened to families caring for their own?  I could go on and on, but lets, for arguments sake, assume there's some fat that can be cut from Medicare and Medicaid.  Shouldn't we do that?  And if we never privatize Medicare and Medicaid, shouldn't we at least hire a team of independent auditors, and give them a health cut of any fraud and waste and abuse they discover?  Isn't it better to reform the program before it bankrupts us?

Look at that pie chart up there.  We're spending 2 percent on education, one percent on rebuilding our roads and bridges and airports (and that's gonna drop to 1 percent this year as Obama's trillion dollar stimulus money dries up) and Democrats are not even willing to look at the program that increases every year...and is bankrupting us?

So, will Tom Price, whose been working on driving down costs in Medicare and Medicaid for 19 years, whose the most knowledgeable on the subject than anyone in Congress, get confirmed?  Don't bet on it.
I believe, if Trump wants to do something about the Health Care budget, he's going to have to send a wolf in sheep's clothing up to Capitol Hill.  Tom Price is a cost cutting wolf whom I fear will not ever get a chance to wield a cost-cutting knife.

Stay tuned, folks!


TheRandyGuy said...

Disagree with your assessment that Congress won't approve him. Why? In 2013, the Democrat-majority Senate changed the rules for confirmation votes for cabinet positions. Previously, it required 60 votes to overcome a filibuster threat. Democrats didn't have those numbers so they changed the procedural threshold to a simple majority (51) for confirmation. The R's will have 52 Senators and several Democrats are already waffling because of that nasty little reelection coming up in two years. Nobody is going to "privatize" Medicare, but they are going to eliminate the ACA and do so probably along a party line vote (should bring back memories to Democrats).

A Modest Scribler said...

Randy, I base my assessment on McConnell's saying he will not employ the "nuclear option" on Presidential cabinet nominees. You can take him at his word...or not.