Washington's Dirty (not little) Big Health Care Reform Secret
Now mind you accountants by temperament are intelligent,sober people not prone to excesses of emotional rhetoric but if you heard Mr. Walker's interview you need to be scared into action.
This is the man with the data and he did not mince words-How refreshing from within the Federal Government!
"I would argue that the most serious threat to the United States is not someone hiding in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan but our own fiscal irresponsibility," Walker told Steve Kroft of 60 MINUTES
We suffer from a fiscal cancer. It is growing within us. And if we do not treat it, it could have catastrophic consequences for our country," Walker stated.
The cancer, Walker says, are massive entitlement programs we can no longer afford, exacerbated by a demographic glitch that began more than 60 years ago-- a dramatic spike in the fertility rate called the "baby boom."
To illustrate their impact, he uses a power point presentation as he travels around the country with his "fiscal wake up tour" to show what would happen in 30 years if the U.S. maintains its current course and fulfills all of the promises politicians have made to the public on things like Social Security and Medicare.
...the real problem is health-care costs. Our health care problem is much more significant than Social Security," he says. By that I mean that the Medicare problem is five times greater than the Social Security problem.The prescription drug bill was probably the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s," Walker argues.
This is no wild eyed zealot says CBS News.Yet some say he is a chicken-little overstating the magnitude of the problem.
I do not have the data that Comptroller General Walker has access to, nor do I have his accounting skills, but to me he is performing a great public service by sounding his alarms now. He is demonstrating a rare quality among Washington heads of federal agencies and even more rare among Washington politicians-namely backbone!
I know a bit about health-care economics and to me his message is a legitimate plea for fundamental and dramatic health care reform and what I call compassionate,fair and ethical, yet nevertheless, significant and yes painful,costs reductions.
Tough choices ahead - That's for sure. But not facing them is the worst choice we could possibly make
Dr. Rick Lippin