What is it about Congress and numbers anyway? Much of the angst about healthcare reform efforts is centered around the impact to Medicare. Over half of whatever bill comes out of Congress, more than $500 billion, is going to be paid for through the elimination of “waste and fraud” as the President puts it.
But, what does that mean? Such a precise number means the Congressional Budget Office has identified the “waste and fraud”, doesn’t it? Or does it? Or does it mean the cuts in Medicare are just going to be classified as “waste and fraud”? I’m confused.
Why is this such a volatile issue? Simply put, if you are on the front end of the baby boomer population, born in 1946, you will turn 65 within the next 12 months AND if you have worked your entire life you have been paying Medicare tax for the 45 years since its enactment in 1965. Now Congress wants to mess with your benefits just as you are set to retire. Or do they?
In any company a capital expenditure is usually quantified through a cost/benefit analysis. If we buy this thing, how is it going to make us more efficient, how will it increase our margins, how will it increase our sales, and how will it increase our bottom line? And then you put together your numbers supported by your analysis and you present it to management. Pretty simple, clear, and understandable exercise, right? Anybody who has ever held a job has had to do this at least once.
Then why can’t Congress show us the detail behind this Medicare “waste and fraud” number? Why is it so secret?
You have to give it up to the American people for finally asking for accountability.