I share Howard Dean’s dissapontment with the new health care bill coursing its way through the Congress because it does not reform health care, it merely extends the present system to millions more. We will continue to have insurance plans pay for services rendered as the bills are presented. The only difference is that the governnment will pick up more of the bills.

Let me state my position. I do not have any problem with the quality or availability of health care in the USA. I have a problem with its outrageous cost. Health care costs America about 17.5% of ts GDP. It costs Spain only 8.5% of its GDP for the same quality of care, which is available to all citizens. And I know the coverage and quality, since I spend about half of my time there.

And I am not alone in my basic position. President Obama introduced his health care plan by saying there is no reason for the USA to pay twice or more for its health care than what is paid in other developed countries.

I am for any system that will bring down the costs of health care in the USA. I would be happy with a “socialized system” such as Spain’s, it it would do the job. But I know that nothing will lower costs in the USA until it addresses the main cause of the higher cost, the fees charged by doctors. I hear many people complain about a relatively small group of Wall Street “Fat Cats” receiving outrageous compensation. Where is the outrage about 800,000 doctors in the USA with an average income of over a quarter million dollars a year? Doctors in Spain are on the government’s payroll and receive maybe a third of what their US counterparts make. And the service is as good, if not better.

And this is my main complaint about the new health bill. At the same time the Senate is focused on a new health care bill, the Congress votes for a bill to delay cuts in fees paid to doctors for services provided to Medicare patients i.e. it ups doctors Medicare fees by 21%. I do not see this Congrees or the new bill doing anythying to reduce the core reason we spend twice or more than any other developed country for health care.