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Bob McMillan-Health Care
April 15, 2005 @ 12:00 am EDT
Bob McMillan came to LIMBA this morning and soke about the state of health care. He pointed out that medical technology is the best in the world. He also pointed out that universal availability continues to elude us. These fact are becoming a familiar theme now. A few months ago Michael Dowling, President of North Shore LIJ, said more or less the same thing.
According to Mr. Mcmillan there are 45 million uninsured people in the country. Of that amount, 25% of those people are employed at incomes of greater than $25,000. This is no longer a problem relegated to the desperately poor. And like the Titanic, the band plays on.
The stats are appalling, and getting worse every year. In terms of quality care the gap between large city facilities and rural America continues to grow.
The problem of delivering quality health care is challenging. As it is the cost of long term care is consuming 80% of the Medicaid budget. Twenty-three million Americans do not speak English. How hard is it to administer medicine to people who cannot tell you what bothers them and have trouble responding to care they don’t understand? He predicted that the cost of healthcare would consume 20% of the Gross National product in 20 years. And finally, productivity in healthcare is growing at half the rate of industry in general.
McMillan gave a little history on attempts to put a health care program in place. Starting with Teddy Roosevelt through Hillary Clinton. Since Clinton’s failure on the issue, no one has been courageous enough to rejoin the battle.
The bright spot is that that since a higher and higher percentage of the economy is being diverted to health care, job opportunities in the health care sector will be increasing dramatically. Otherwise, a bleak picture was presented. The good news is that we are talking about it.