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An arithmetic lesson from DFA member, Dr. Bart Wald


Much concern has been expressed about the outrageous financial recklessness of the health care reform proposals, especially the $1 TRILLION dollar price tag.

I’m surprised no one has debunked this threat. Let me try.

The $1 trillion dollar cost has been most commonly tossed about, although I hear that after fees and penalties it’s down to $650 Billion. Let’s use the nice round number of a trillion. BUT, its $1 trillion over 10 YEARS.  So it’s a $100 Billion a year.  A HUNDRED BILLION!!


But we are already spending over $2 trillion a year on health care. So, let me get my calculator out. A $100 Billion increase over $2 Trillion is 5%.  Five per cent increase to cover almost 50 million uninsured Americans. Doesn’t sound so bad now.


AND if we get serious about what we should and shouldn’t do about medical services, the futile care, the duplication of tests and services, the medically unnecessary care, the defensive medical care, we should be able to reduce costs well more than 5%. And cover our children, and the poor and the vulnerable.



Bart Wald MD

Medical Director

HealthCare Partners Medical Group

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