American Morning

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June 10th, 2009
12:08 PM ET

Pay as you go?

We landed an interview with Kent Conrad, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Budget Committee yesterday to talk about the president’s plans to restore fiscal sanity to Washington.

Conrad says, “We're headed for a cliff. A fiscal cliff." He’s trying to sound the alarm and get people to pay attention to the fact that the nation’s deficit is now projected to be 1.8 trillion dollars this year. A record when it comes to red ink.

He fears the president will not be able to keep his promise to cut the deficit in half in four years. Why? Check out our story and find out:

Filed under: Economy • Politics
soundoff (3 Responses)

    I wonder what is going to be cut in order to pay as you go!Will it be our farmers, business owners , just who is going to pay to "go". We didn't get in this mess by chance, lets get out of it by being smart and not killing the middle class while we are at it. Time is short to get things right , it's now or never

    June 15, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  2. Larry

    In the '80s we called it Reaganomics....spending money we didn't have to spend, writing checks we didn't have money to back up. We didn't have a significant deficit in this country before Reagan took office.

    Evidently that sort of spending generated enough votes for republican candidates that the practice became the norm.

    We're in big trouble. Are we borrowing from China? Or are we just printing more worthless money. What do we do if China decides to call in their loans?

    Is this going to come down to the one with the most missiles willl win?

    June 11, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  3. Mitchel

    Good morning Kiran and John,

    Great morning show. Anyway, I already touched on the issues that make our health care so expensive, even though I don't have all the answers. I will summarize my previous email to you, and let me recap the essence of problems and solutions.

    One is that we don't emphasize preventative medicine. This means several exams per year, of which at least all of them cover a full blood work-up, x-rays, urine for all chemicals inside us etc at some point during the course of a year. This would reveal many early problems. But insurance companies don't want to pay for these types of comprehensive exams. It is better to pay on the front end for preventative health care, then, pay for it after it is much worse. Save money, and save lives.

    Second is that our doctor's are paying too much in malpractice insurance to be able to profit in their small businesses and this also applies to larger medical centers. This means that they are sued for all types of frivolous reasons for millions and 10's of millions of dollars, hence they pass they cost on to all of us, and also run many more tests they they even feel are necessary, in order to "cover" themselves in a potential lawsuit later. This is due to American greed to get rich quick. Some people are greedy and look for any reason to sue for millions, and our advertisements by lawyers ( via our Congress allowing such ridiculous litigation ), who promote this mentality. We need to have state boards which are made up of professional doctors, and regular folks who throw out frivolous lawsuits.

    Third is we all pay for un-insured people and this includes the 20 million illegal aliens who use EMS calls for medical care. In Texas alone, the annual bill for illegal aliens using Emergency services for mild, or serious medical problems is $16 Billion per year. We, know this from the medical people, from the hospitals, insurance companies, and the state, because they ask for basic information, and also establish their place of residence, and these people refuse to go to a hospital, because they are afraid that they will be deported. This information is all tracked by each state. It is a dirty little secret. All states have this problem. It is costing us about $80 Billion per year as a country. These are documented numbers. Check the research for yourself by each state.

    Third is we allow Pharmaceutical companies to push expensive drugs on each patient, instead of lesser, but still equally efficient drugs that are older, and less expensive. Because, they want to make their money before their 10 patent runs out, and they have to allow for generic drugs for other companies, hence lose their potential profit margin.

    I got more but this is just the tip of the iceberg Mika and Joe.

    Take care, Mitchel

    June 11, 2009 at 7:16 am |