Healthcare Spending was Down in 2008- Did anyone notice?

Healthcare spending actually slowed down in 2008, which was before Obama climbed into office. This is what the The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported in their annual report.

U.S. health care spending growth decelerated in 2008, increasing 4.4 percent compared to 6.0 percent in 2007.

The downside was that health expense share of the GNP increased at the same time from 15.9% in 2007 to 16.2% in 2008 at the same time as the rate of growth declined.

But the point is that the reduction in growth in healthcare spending declined NOT because of anything that government has done, but because of what the private industry has accomplished.

But the only coverage noted was a small article in the New York Times and even the CMS site downplayed the decline because it was only slight. The Times contributed the decline due to the recession yet Micah Hartman, the co-author of the report stated:

“Health-care spending is usually somewhat insulated from the immediate impact of a downturn in the economy,”

And then contradicted himself by adding…..

 but this recession has exerted considerable influence on the health-care sector.

So which one is it? Is healthcare spending insulated from the downturn of an economy or not? Why does it seem that Hartman is talking out of both sides of his mouth?

Because the CMS Director, Jonathan Blum is a proponent of the healthcare reform that Obama has been pushing. Blum had to acknowledge begrudgingly that there had been a decrease in expenses but stressed more that the percentage of the GNP had increased a whole .3% in one year, thus the reason for Obamacare.

What has been very well known is that federal spending for Medicare (increase by 1.5%) and Medicaid(increase by 2.3%) increased dramatically from the previous year BUT during the same period healthcare costs decreased during a time where just the opposite should have occurred. In other words, the PRIVATE SECTOR reduced the cost of healthcare.

The CMS report showed that the private sector has the incentive to decrease costs but no where has the government ever decreased it costs because the government doesn’t have to answer to any bottom line. And it’s competition in the private sector that brings about the lowering of cost. And the government, by definition, is unable to be competitive.

So how can anyone expect the government to take over a  industry in this country and actually cut costs when in any venture it has never cut costs and never made money? So why pray tell do we want to hand over our health and our insurance industry over to such an inept institution? Only an idiot would do that. Only a socialist government would even want to grab it away from a democratic society.


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