We have seen the health insurance companies jump the new health care plan ship. Now the doctors are leaving. To keep them on board, the Congress has come up with a separate $250 billion bill to pay doctors higher fees for performing Medicare services. Added to the $800-900 billion for the new health care plan as now constituted, we see Uncle Sam facing maybe $ 1.2 trillion in increased costs. Medicare and Medicaid are already facing bankruptcy in a few years, these new costs will bring that date even closer.

At present doctors´ fees set by Medicare are raised in accordance with a formula based on inflation and wage increases. The American Medical Association (AMA, the doctors´guild) argues that this has been inadequate and that they need stiff increases for delivering Medicare services.

Where is the outrage? Every Tom, Dick and Harry is raising the roof about excesssive salaries and other compensation for the bankers who screwed up the economy and have been given massive handouts funded by taxpayers. Why don´t we hear such cries about outrageous fees charged by doctors, who have given us the most expensive medical care in the world, largely paid for, you guessed it, by Uncle Sam?

At the rate vested interests are bailing out on the new health care plan, I predict that the spit and bailing wire bill sent conjured up the Senate will become an even better candidate for the annual Rube Goldberg prize.