The Huge Error in Projected Medicare-Medicaid Costs

Modern technology is expanding exponentially giving us the tools to discover cures for diseases and disabilities, let alone provide us with major non-curative, low cost breakthroughs. One would have to be a bona fide Luddite to deny this. Also, it is difficult to refute that the most effective and preferred way to reduce Medicare-Medicaid costs would be to cure or eliminate major diseases ideally beginning within the near future. Farfetched? Of course not!  The challenge is to create a system which will spur on the medical creativity of our researchers by reducing the multiple barriers which keep them in limbo.  The Foundation for Innovation in Medicine has launched the Cure Care Initiative and proposed the Doctornaut Act as one rapidly effective solution to accelerate medical discovery and dramatically reduce health care costs.

I don’t pretend to be conversant with the world of economics but I did some homework and, as far as I could tell, what struck me is that Medicare and Medicaid cost projections have not significantly, if at all, factored in the discovery of cures. For example, it is estimated that a discovery of a cure for Alzheimer’s made today will lead to a savings of 20 trillion dollars over the next forty years. Because of the epidemic of diabetes, particularly in the elderly and obese of which a high percentage is on Medicare and Medicaid, costs are skyrocketing. The estimated annual costs for diabetic management in 2020 are $500 billion. As a rough estimate, if we multiply this figure by 40 years, we arrive at $20 trillion!

The absence of factoring in the “cure factor” in cost projections is a huge, incomprehensible error in economic planning impacting not only our medical planning but also our country’s future.  We’re legitimately concerned about the costs of these entitlements for they rob us of the funds necessary for positive expansion such as modernizing our infrastructure and streamlining our educational system.

Someone out there should calculate the reduction in Medicare-Medicaid costs by assuming that the 10 current most costly diseases will be cured tomorrow, ten and twenty years from now. Maybe we’ll be so surprised and, yes, even elated by the magnitude of the cost reduction that it will convince the Congress to enact the Doctornaut Act which will, without doubt, hasten the discovery of such cures.