Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - March 14, 2010

Brian Gongol

Here's what really bothers me about the notion of a government "solution" to health care: The government that's supposed to cut our costs is the same one that has been running Medicare straight into a wall of bankruptcy. The Medicare trust fund is going to be completely wiped out within 7 years. To think that the same incompetents in elected office who have gotten us into that condition will be the same ones who will find some magical way to cut health insurance costs for the rest of us is nothing more than a belief in the impossible.

Compounding our troubles is the fact that the only way to fix the Medicare funding crisis is to cut benefits for people on the program and raise taxes on the workers who are paying for it. Which means that the 27% of Americans who haven't saved anything for retirement are going to find themselves with relatively less take-home pay soon...and higher bills to pay when they retire. There's no way to get around it: We're not saving enough, and the situation is getting dire.

Something in my head tells me that the real solution to our health-care problems lies in mutual associations, where we'll balance our personal costs with community support. But mutual groups have been on the decline for quite some time in America, and I don't know from where the revival will (or would) come.

A caller shared the helpful tip that the uninsured should try HIP Iowa for assistance. He also noted that it's possible for people paying cash for their medical services (for instance, people using high-deductible plans) to get deep discounts if they negotiate to pay at the time of service. Excellent news.

Another piece of good news: A woman who worked a lifetime for the same company turned 3 shares of stock into a $7 million endowment for her college alma mater.

And, as promised during the show: What Margaret Thatcher said 30 years ago about what we should be doing about Federal bailouts today.

Thanks for listening, and if you use Twitter, follow me under the username @briangongol.

Get the links to what we talked about tonight at