A recent article by Dr. Herbert Pardes, president and CEO of New York-Presbyterian Hospital caught my eye. He makes a compelling case, but, perhaps not in the way he intended.
Obamacare purports to insure an additional 32 million people. And, more and more Baby Boomers are reaching their 65th birthday. This latter fact alone, according to estimates, will mean that 72 million people will need more medical care by 2020 than they do today… nearly twice the current figure.
According to a 2010 report by the Association of American Colleges, the increased demand means that our nation will need an additional 130,000 doctors, both general-practice physicians and specialists, 15 years from now. That’s 20% more doctors than we have currently…Right now we train roughly 16,000 doctors a year. To keep pace with demand, this nation will need an additional 6,000 to 8,000 each year for the next 20 years.
However, beginning in 1996, Congress capped the number of new doctors that Medicare would train. And, the President’s Budget Commission recently recommended that Medicare funding to train doctors be reduced further…by $60 billion through 2020.
So, does it make more sense to throw billions at high speed rails to nowhere that no one will take once the novelty wears off, or to spend that money training doctors?
Does it make more sense throwing billions at ethanol production that we now know does virtually nothing for our environment, or to spend that money training doctors?
Does it make more sense paying people to buy electric cars that they would not otherwise buy, or to spend that money training doctors?
And, does it make more sense to throw billions at wind and solar power that will not be competitive in the foreseeable future, if ever, or to spend that money training doctors?
Is it possible that Americans are not so much upset about how much money our government spends, but rather, on what we spend it?