The new administration will soon have to face a lot of tough choices. We all know about the real estate mess, the financial industry collapse and the automakers being cash strapped. Another huge issue will be how to curb spending in the area of healthcare. An article in the Washington Post seemed to "get it" as it explained how our system is fraught with waste. The article article asked "chief executives of America's preeminent health-care institutions" for their thoughts and they were quick to point out efficiency measures and cost cutting techniques that would help. Funny thing, though, that the author never mentioned the salaries of these executives? It would have been nice to see how much they were making as they ask others to squeeze their belts tighter. Anyway, the truth is that the article had a lot of great points. Blowing cash on unproven or overpriced diagnostic testing is a great example of wasteful spending. What I really found hilarious, however, was that in the same paper on the same day was a piece on something called a CyberKnife. This new and very expensive technology is being aggressively marketed for prostate cancer surgery. Who do you think it is being marketed to? Yup, the public. The robotic device was made for brain and spinal tumors that would be difficult, if not impossible, to get at via regular surgery. I guess somebody realized that this can be used for other easier procedures and it is now being farmed out for other those surgeries as well. The problem is that the CyberKnife may not be better than regular surgery and it costs a ton more. Medicare, in their infinite wisdom, is paying for it and so hospitals are jumping on board so they can cover the cost for their $4 million robot. So as they scream efficiency out of one side of their mouth, many a hospital director is asking to buy expensive toys out of the other side. Sounds a little hypocritical, doesn't it? Therefore, I have decided to ask Santa for a CyberKnife this Christmas to see if Medicare will overpay me for cutting open an abscess, spraying liquid nitrogen on a wart, or just listening to someone's heartbeat. If you can't beat'em, might as well join'em.