In his paper, Mortimer Zuckerman raised his concern about the soaring medical costs that the government continues to incur and suggests that there needs to be a revision on the entitlement programs. Mortimer Zuckerman based his assertion on the statistics that showed a sharp increase in the expenses the government has been incurring in the entitlement programs since 1992 (Zuckerman). He suggests that if projections of 2022 are something to go by, the government will not be able to sustain the programs. The paper below is a descriptive outline of Mortimer Zuckerman’s paper.
The first paragraph is an introduction of the paper in which the writer provides a statement that the government needs to reduce its budget on health entitlement program in order to keep its spending under control (Medicare Payment Advisory Commission 34). The function of the paragraph is to provide an oversight of the whole paper by providing the topic of discussion and some of the factors affecting the topic.
The second treatment concentrates on the soaring costs of cancer treatments, and the author compares the costs with other factors such as automobiles and medical products at Wal-Mart. The author describes high costs of dosages which are against the common trend of improved technology and the associated low costs (Zuckerman). The function of the paragraph is to provide an oversight of the increased costs of cancer treatment.
The third paragraph analyzes the topic of the lousy bargain Americans get when in hospitals. The writer uses Steven Brill’s analysis of the charge masters, and those patients with health insurance that is private only get the discounts on the price list (Brill 22). The paragraph’s purpose is to show how Americans endeavor to get the discount on medical expenses they deserve.
The next paragraph discusses how many millions of American people do not have insurance on their health, meaning that they do not get the discounts that the insured Americans get (Turner, Carpetta, Miller, and Moffin 23). The author emphasizes that the availability of non-insured patients makes hospitals that are not supposed to make profits earn super normal profits (Zuckerman). The function of the paragraph is to enlighten the reader on how many non-profit hospitals make earnings due to many Americans not having medical insurance.
The next paragraph discusses the explanations on the sources of the high costs of medical care. The author cites that the main source of the increased costs as the government states is due to the increased research tests that end up harming some patients’ health (Brill 44). The purpose of the paragraph is to show that the research tests are not necessary because they do not provide the desired results but instead some of them continue to harm patients.
The next paragraph cites how doctors use the test to go to dangerous extents of testing their medicines. Afterward, doctors pay bribes to avoid court cases (Zuckerman). The function of the paragraph is to show how patients become unsafe due to the doctors’ practicing illegal tests and, thus, endangering the health of their patients.
The next paragraph is a follow-up on the previous, and it describes how Medicare undergoes unnecessary expenses in paying damages to patients that the poor testing by the doctors caused. The paragraph cites that there are more than 20% patients who get readmitted because of the poor testing (Zuckerman). The function of the paragraph is to show how Medicare incurs a lot of costs which could be used in other productive activities if the government prevented illegal testing.
The next part of the paper discusses how Medicare participates in hiking of the costs of medical bills (Medicare Payment Advisory Commission 37). The law does not allow the program to negotiate for the costs of the drugs, and Obamacare also restricts health insurance companies to provide clear guidelines on their insurance policies (Zuckerman). The function of the part is to provide an oversight on how American laws participate in the increase in the cost of medical bills.
The next paragraph discusses how initial expectations of the costs of Medicare did not materialize. The predicted cost of Medicare was $12 billion contrary to the actual $600 billion (Turner, Carpetta, Miller, and Moffin 54). The author suggests that people with higher incomes should incur the costs, and rules should raise the question of age that makes a patient eligible for the program (Zuckerman). The function of the part of the paper is to show how the costs of the program exceed the expectations of the government and how such costs can be reduced.
The next paragraph analyses how doctors earn their salaries on the basis of volume other than value. The author cites that many doctors get more money than they deserve, and the mode of payment leads to an increase in the costs of medical bills. The function of the paragraph is to show how the government loses money due to a poor method of payment (Zuckerman). The author suggests that a care that is value-based can lead to a significant reduction in the annual $2.8 by a quarter (Medicare Payment Advisory Commission 50). The function of the part of the paper is to show that value-based system would reduce the annual budget on medical care by a quarter.
The last part of the paper shows asserts that the hospitals in the current system do not use value on their spending and that the system needs to change to insure that the hospitals spend the money effectively. The function of the paragraph is to identify the recommendations of the author that the health system needs to change to insure effective spending of money dedicated for the health system.
In conclusion, the healthcare system spends a lot of money which would otherwise be reduced to manageable levels. The current system has some loopholes that make medical bills expensive (Turner, Carpetta, Miller, and Moffin 40). Therefore, there needs to be a change in the system to insure that the costs of health do not reach the levels that are unmanageable for the government.
- Brill, Steven. “Bitter Pill.” Time 181. 8 (2013): 16-55. Print.
- Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. A Data Book: Healthcare Spending and the Medicare Program. Washington, D.C.: Medpac, 2003. Print.
- Turner, Grace-Marie, Carpetta, James C., Miller, Thomas P., and Robert E. Moffin. Why Obamacare Is Wrong for America: How the New Health Care Law Drives up Costs, Puts Government in Charge of Your Decisions, and Threatens Your Constitutional Rights. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011. Print.
- Zuckerman, Mortimer B. “The High Cost of Staying Well: The U.S. Gets Poor Bang for Its Medical Buck.” U.S. News, 22 Oct. 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.