2010 and 2011 will be remembered as years of austerity. The public elected politicians to office with the understanding that politicians needed to tighten their belt to bring down the federal deficit. Despite the gains of the Republican party, many health care forms continue to move forward. One of the items found in the recent legislation were Medicare and Medicaid offsets. The offsets, according to President Obama, would help the government save money in the long run. Depending on the political affiliation of the source, people will say the do or do not exist. Reading information about the offsets carefully shows them to be little more than an accounting trick.
The idea of including the offsets was to waste or eliminate fraud from the Medicare program. While the government aggressively pursues people abusing the system, politicians face a difficult task when they try to eliminate waste. Areas where the Medicare and Medicaid programs waste money are well known, but lawmakers make changes that would eliminate waste reluctantly. The offsets and the elimination of waste were a talking point to help get the bill passed. They have not reduced the deficit or solved any of the problems that exist in the federally sponsored programs.
The programs will continue with their current waste, and the news reports about potential problems will not go away. Voters may have voted for a change in business as usual during the last two elections, but few adults are naïve enough to expect any of these changes to happen quickly. If the continued vote for a real change in how Washington does business goes unheeded, the ruling parties can continue to expect many upheavals and upsets in the coming elections. The government sponsored health programs will stay the same until congress gets around to changing them.