Good polls, confusing polls and politicizing math are the focus of our martinis on Wednesday. Jim and Greg are glad to see Republican U.S. Senate challenger John James already in a virtual dead heat with Democratic Sen. Gary Peters in Michigan. They also shake their heads as a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey shows a majority of Americans support Medicare for All but oppose it by large margins when they actually understand it means the end of private insurance. And they throw up their hands as school officials in Seattle consider adding an emphasis on ethnic studies into all subjects, including taking time in math class to explain how math is oppressive to people of color and is used to exploit natural resources.
Republican struggled and failed to overhaul Obamacare. Many Democrats want the government to run health care entirely. But former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn says health care costs would plummet and choices would flourish if we simply bring transparency to the system.
A longtime doctor before entering the political arena, Coburn says patients would benefit enormously from price transparency and knowing the results that other patients have had from various providers. He says all sides agree that health care costs consume 20 percent of the nation’s GDP, but he says there’s a much better way to address this than putting the government in charge of everything.
“We have multiple studies by reputable groups that said anywhere from $500 billion to a trillion dollars a years doesn’t help anybody get well and doesn’t prevent anybody from getting sick. So how do you fix that?
“You fix that with what was proposed by the Trump administration, calling first for price transparency for everybody in health care. Because once net prices are published, you’re going to have 100,000 people making apps to show people how to get the best deal.
“Once you have price transparency, then you’re going to have outcome transparency because what will happen is all the prices will settle down to the most competitive. Then the differentiating factor will be, ‘What are your outcomes? What’s your infection rate? What’s your major complication rate? What’s your average hospital stay for this? What’s your re-operation rate?'”
“All of a sudden we will start buying health care like we buy everything else in the country,” said Coburn.
The fight for transparency won’t be easy. Coburn says there are a lot of powerful entities who have incentive to keep the bloated system in place.
“Who’s opposed to that? All the hospitals, all the big insurers, all the drug companies, all the pharmacy benefit managers, and everybody else that’s a middle man in health care that sucks money out but doesn’t add value,” said Coburn.
But is this just theory or are these ideas actually working somewhere? Listen to the full podcast as Coburn explains how price and outcome transparency is proving wildly successful in his home state. He also explains why our education system is utterly failing the young people clamoring for government-run care.
Listen to “Schumer’s Silly SCOTUS Strategy, Bernie’s $3.2 Trillion Single-Payer Scheme, TSA Monitors Sweaty People” on Spreaker.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Rich McFadden of Radio America break down Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s request that red-state Democrats remain neutral on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. They also cannot believe that some Democrats are seriously considering the idea of almost doubling the federal budget to pay for Sen. Bernie Sander’s Medicare-for-all program. And they cannot find any examples of malfeasance in the Boston Globe’s story about the TSA’s passenger-monitoring program that tracks people who sweat too much and urinate too often.