Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Anybody Home at Medicare?

The New York Times has a scathing but gently titled expose of another problem in D. C., in Lack of Medicare Appointee Puzzles Congress. No one is in charge of 5% of GDP, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS):

President Obama has made health care his top priority. He says the cost of Medicare and Medicaid is “the biggest threat” to the nation’s fiscal future. But to the puzzlement of Congress and health care experts around the country, Mr. Obama has not named anyone to lead the agency that runs the two giant programs.

The agency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is the largest buyer of health care in the United States. . .

“The vacancy stands out like a sore thumb,” said Dr. Denis A. Cortese, president of the Mayo Clinic, often cited by the White House as a health care model.

The vacancy is not all the Administration's fault. It appears that some potential leaders love their health care stocks too much, as well as wanting real authority:

Some candidates have been reluctant to sell financial holdings in the health care industry. Some apparently wanted more authority than they could have in an administration where health policy is directed from the White House.

The wrong person is running Treasury, the wrong person is advising the President on economic matters within the White House, and no one is running the show at what may be the world's largest health insurer.

Copyright (C) Long Lake LLC 2009

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