Health Care Financing: It’s a tape worm

By Ewell Scott, M.D., F.A.C.P.
The Morehead (Ky.) News, May 26, 2017

When Warren Buffett talks, everybody who is anybody sits right up and listens.

Mr. Buffett, living in Oklahoma in a modest ranch house situated in a middle class neighborhood, demands the attention of Wall Street Tycoons and Hedge Fund Managers as he has the uncanny ability of predicting the future in economic terms. He picks out the winners. His reputation for honesty, plain speaking and accuracy are legendary.

Well, just last week he described our current health care financing system a “tape worm.” WOW. I do not want to have a tape worm. Since childhood the image of a silent grisly creature eating away, living in my gut, was scary.

But I am afraid the shoe fits, as our private health insurance based system is literally wasting huge amounts of money.

We in the USA spend twice as much as any other civilized country but get less. Our military, the best and largest, consumes 5 percent of our gross domestic product while total health care spending is responsible for 18 percent. We needlessly spend ours on an inefficient, fragmented, confusing system.

Mr. Buffett’s co-executive at Berkshire Hathaway, Charlie Munger has recently called for adopting a single payer health care system with progressive financing to get rid of this unwanted situation. Medicare for All, new and improved, would do it.

Let’s tell our politicians we want a truly universal, affordable and comprehensive health care financing system.