Over the Memorial Day weekend, while many were getting their first taste of summer — ergo, not reading the news — it was reported that U.S. hospitals were experiencing shortages of both common and specialized drugs, so much so that they are looking for substitutes and combing the globe for overseas suppliers. An Associated Press story announced that some “89 drug shortages occurred in the first three months of this year, according to the University of Utah’s Drug Information Service (UUDIC)…which tracks shortages for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacies.”
Medicare presents an enormous unfunded liability — $24.6 trillion, according to its trustees — to the U.S. government and, by extension, to U.S. taxpayers, who will have to pony up their hard-earned income to pay for the government’s promises of free healthcare for senior citizens. A reasonable person might give serious consideration to radically altering, if not abolishing, the program to reduce its long-term, clearly unsustainable cost.
In 2007, a 63-year-old American veteran went to a VA hospital for evaluation of his exertional chest pain — again. Seven years earlier he had undergone an angioplasty to three of the arteries of his heart, and since then he had been treated for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and fibromyalgia. In 2005, his chest pain had returned and now it was getting worse.
Following a report of potential fraud of Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) wrote a trenchant and discerning letter to Inspector General Patrick O'Carroll, regarding concerns about administrative abuse in the disability benefits program. The Senators suspect that the SSDI program may be wielding disability benefits as an extension of unemployment benefits, rather than providing financial assistance only to individuals who are legitimately disabled.