Co-chairman of President Obama's bipartisan commission on reducing the federal debt, Erskine Bowles, the president of the University of North Carolina, right and Alan Simpson, a former Republican Senate leader from Wyoming, discuss their findings in the Senate Hart Office Building on Capitol Hill on Nov. 30, 2010.

Stephen Crowley, New York Times

Short take: Health care spending

  • Article by: JILL BURCUM
  • Star Tribune
  • November 2, 2011 - 11:32 AM

There was blistering blunt talk on health care Tuesday on Capitol Hill from the two men who led the presidential deficit reduction task force.

Testifying during deficit “supercommittee” proceedings, Republican Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles gored about every ox there is, from rich elderly Medicare recipients, to trial lawyers to doctors to people who eat too much, drink too much or smoke.

A highlight of the testimony: Bowles blasting the “death panel” craziness that accompanies end-of-life care discussions.

It’s rare to hear this much straight talk about health care, which is why the two men’s testimony is both noteworthy and welcome.

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