Epiphanyblog

All about ideas…

Bill Gates on Health Care and the U.S. Economy

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Last Tuesday, on Feb. 8, Bill Gates sat down with Charlie Rose to discuss health care throughout the world, which his foundation greatly funds, and the U.S. economy.

The first half of the hour long program focuses on world health and how his foundation helps and what they’ve learned in the process in working with health care providers and communities of people across the world. The second half of the program goes into the U.S. economy, education reform, the U.S. health care system, and the budget.

This is a program every American should watch because Gates is actually involved in the systems that effect the U.S. economy, as opposed to politicians who have vested interests in partisan politics and policies. His arguments and criticisms are accurate, in my opinion. They’re rational, logical, and he puts forth arguments to change the discussion from slash and burn budgets cuts across the board to making hard rational cuts that increase America’s competitiveness while decreasing the budget deficit, particularly for major driver of the deficit which is actual health care costs.

Personally, I agree with Bill Gates and President Obama, legislators need to take a scalpel to budget cuts rather an ax.The deficit is mind-boggling sum, but to axe the very things things that support the economy and drive competitiveness is idiotic. Everything needs to be looked at, across the board, to determine the best return on tax dollar investment, regardless of what industries, lobbyists, and unions want. In other words, legislators on both sides of the aisle need to start working smart rather than working to protect certain industries and groups whose interests do not necessarily align with the long term interests of the country.

As Gates knows from his business and philanthropic experience, legislators need to look first at the outcomes they wish to achieve in five, ten or twenty-five years – what America will and should look like in a global economy regarding jobs, competitiveness, education, health care, and budgetary costs – and work backwards towards making smart decisions that drive those decisions. For example, how will cutting large amounts of funding for education affect future generations? How will working on ways to drive down the costs of health care actually shift costs away from the old towards the needs of future generations’ education? How can educational systems become better aligned with a more competitive world? How can investment in research and development drive industry to produce better outcomes, reduce costs, and increase global competitiveness?

Listening to Gates reminds me of how much further the American political system has to go to actually get its house in order to face the future…and how much more the American people need to be educated.

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Written by Valerie Curl

February 12, 2011 at 7:33 PM

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