Commentary

Consumers' Financial Entertainment, Medical Costs Go Crazy

Cutbacks are coming -- for all your health and entertainment needs. Health-care insurance and pay TV providers? Think less, pay more.

TV networks are searching for ways to lessen original programming; the economics just aren’t working. And that could affect the whole TV ecosystem -- including pay TV providers.

At the same time, we now hear many in Congress wants to cut back on health care; those economics aren’t working, either. Obamacare is broken, we are told. So we need new health care. But that will cost everyone more, especially older people.

Entertainment will be no medication. Younger people don’t have many medical needs. But they have entertainment needs.

TV networks will be showing less original programming for next season. Overall, some 455 original scripted TV shows still vying for your attention, according to the most recent estimates from FX Networks. There is evidence all this could be sinking.

The big English-language broadcast networks have scheduled just 38 new shows for next season, down from 42 the previous year, according to Barclays Research -- the fewest number of new shows for a new TV season in five years.

Will people get nourished by reruns, cheaper reality shows and YouTube videos? Entertain -- or attend to your medical needs -- yourself.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the new House of Representatives health-care bill means 23 million might have not health care -- though they may technically have “access” to health care — if they can find the financial muster.

Health care is a human necessity -- not an option. Entertainment? Not so much. But viewers are already taking action with the later -- cord-trimming, cord-cutting, and/or buying cheaper digital TV programming packages than pricier traditional TV packages.

Estimate are there are around 10 million cord-cutters. Think it could get to 20 million? And, if so, wouldn’t that be around the same level of people without health care in the coming years?

But look at the savings: CBO says the new health-care plan would cut the deficit by $119 billion 10 years after throwing out Obamacare. Capitalization at work -- treating sicker people outside of hospital ERs. Plus, it will give a huge tax boost to the wealthy, while the middle-class and poor scramble for treatment.

And what about those traditional -- and perhaps cheaper -- digital TV packages? Is big entertainment health waning with new TV consumer packages left unsold? Consumers will be looking for some true perspective.

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