REPOST: Un-Dynamic Duo: Sebelius and Orszag to lead Healthcare & SS Reform?

REPOST: It’s official Shebores us has been nominated for HHS, here is the writeup we did last month…2 best things IMO, Daschle screwed himself out of the job and Howard Dean who broke TEH ROOLZ for Obama to win the primaries is UNDA DA BUS….BWAAAAHAAAAAA! Frakkers..

The man who gutted school construction for electronic medical records-Peter Orszag

The man who gutted school construction for electronic medical records-Peter Orszag

Well we now know who the culprit was that gutted school construction from the stimulus, Orzsag. Apparently he is known far and wide as ‘pragmatic’; which we have observed is Team Obama code for ‘compromise  no one will be happy with’.

Orszag, at 40 the youngest member of the Obama cabinet, left a profound mark on the stimulus, which focused heavily on healthcare technology, a major focus of his research. He and his deputy, Rob Nabors brokered a key, late deal on spending on school construction, a Democratic aide said.

And the bill spends more than $1 billion on Orszag’s pet cause, research on the effectiveness of medical practices, which he sees as an opening to reforming American health care through sheer analytical will.

Now we hear that the much ballyhooed electronic medical records which DID make it into the stimulus bill is actually the brain-child of Orszag who has big plans to change the way health care is delivered in America, and needed those stimulus moves to lay the groundwork for the budget Team Obama will release next week.

Via Ben Smith:

Now Orszag is preparing for the biggest week of his career, with a “fiscal responsibility” summit Monday and the release of Obama’s first budget Thursday. He’s signaling that the moves in the stimulus package are just a hint of what to come in a budget that will begin in earnest the arduous process of health care reform.

“What has already been accomplished is a huge start toward a more efficient [health care] system, and I think you’re going to see more in the budget next week,” he told Politico.

Though the budget’s details have been closely held, Orszag revealed, in broad terms, two: A continued focus on health care policy; and a plan “to restore the nation to a sustainable fiscal trajectory over the five-to-ten year window.”

The next step on health care, he said, is a set of “changes to Medicare and Medicaid to make them more efficient, and to start using those programs more intelligently to lead the whole healthcare system.”

With a growing body of research finding some practices more cost-effective than others, the programs reimbursement rules can be used to force changes at those hospitals – a sort of back door to health care reform.

“Medicare and Medicaid are big enough to change the way medicine is practiced,” he said.

If you haven’t been paying attention, instead of UHC for everyone, Team Obama apparently plans to limit what treatments providers are allowed to deliver to patients, based on COST EFFECTIVENESS.

Not effectiveness, COST EFFECTIVENESS. That stent may not be cost effective, so hang on Sloopy!

Well at least they aren’t frakking with our SS you say, HA! Think again!

Orszag’s other key agenda item next week will be an effort to change the debate on Medicare and Social Security.

Orszag’s long-running project – something that has made the Left’s favorite Cabinet member – has been replacing talk of an “entitlement crisis” with his argument that Social Security requires only modest tax hikes and benefit cuts, while Medicare and Medicaid have much more dramatic fiscal woes

Oh good, I was worried there, they will only raise my FICO taxes ‘modestly’ and CUT MY BENEFITS ‘modestly’…who defines modest?


Most of all, Orszag is “a pragmatist who believes in looking at the numbers,” said one admirer, Mark McClellan, who ran the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for President Bush.

GOD SAVE US FROM THE PRAGMATIST LOOKING AT NUMBERS!! And he is I note the youngest on Obamas Team at 40, you Baby Boomers who bought the HYPE are SOL, Mr Pragmatism will cut your medical care as your productivity declines no doubt…..or will only  GEN X pay the price for the profligacy…again….

And what dynamic individual will help sell this plan to Americans?? SHEBORESUS!!!!

Wonder Woman to Orszag's Batman, Kathleen Sebelius

Wonder Woman to Orszag's Batman, Kathleen Sebelius

Two groups involved in the health care reform effort say all signs right now point to Sebelius – who as a Democrat running a Republican state has experience with the bruising partisan battles sure to accompany Obama’s effort to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system.

And what wonderful skill set will she bring to the table??? PRAGMATISM AND BIPARTISANSHIP! SOMEBODY SAVE US! Have they learned NOTHING from the stimulus ‘bipartisanship’??

Should she be nominated, Ms. Sebelius would bring eight years of experience as her state’s insurance commissioner as well as six years as a governor running a state Medicaid program.

But with President Obama about to begin a drive to expand health coverage, an issue on which the two parties have deep ideological divisions, her strongest asset in the view of the White House may be her record of navigating partisan politics as a Democrat in one of the country’s most Republican states.

The only thing good I can say about Sheboresus is she isn’t Daschle and she has actual experience with Medicaid administration, but she sure as hell is no Hillary. HA!

Although, the way this team is going I am ever so grateful Hillary is not in the Senate involved in the Stimulus or with this healthcare backdoor push. Hillary told us she would get all stakeholders at the table to negotiate a plan, she learned that from the last go round. All Team Obama learned is to slip things by the people without open discussion and IMO that will lead to an enormous backlash that will hurt chances of UHC…

And everyone who told me I was so so cynical and so wrong about my concerns on FICA payroll taxes going up and benefits going down, well prepare to eat your hat as they do just that..

To see what Orszag believes will work on SS Reform, see his previous paper here, courtesy of Ezra Klein who thinks we ‘progressives’ have nothing to fear in SS reform by Team Obama.

Highlights include:

Many observers have recognized that adjusting Social Security automatically for increasing life expectancy makes sense. Previous proposals have taken the extreme approach of doing all of the adjustment through reductions in benefits. Instead, we propose a balanced approach with roughly half the life expectancy adjustment occurring through changes to benefits and the rest through changes to payroll taxes. (Like the other components of our plan, our life expectancy adjustment does not affect benefits for workers who are fifty-five years old or older in 2004.


Our plan again includes a balance of revenue and benefit adjustments. First, the maximum taxable earnings base rises gradually until the share of total earnings that is above the base—and hence escapes the payroll tax—has declined to 13 percent, roughly its average level over the past twenty years. Second, to offset the effects of disproportionately rapid gains in life expectancy among higher earners, benefits are reduced for the highest earners (about 15 percent of workers). Lifetime earnings that fall in the top tier of the benefit formula (above about $44,000 in 2003) add less to benefits than under current law. Instead of the current 15 cents in benefits for each dollar of lifetime earnings in the top tier, our plan gradually reduces the benefit rate to 10 cents of benefits for each dollar of lifetime earnings in the top tier.

Second, we impose a legacy tax on earnings above the maximum taxable earnings base, thereby ensuring that very high earners contribute to financing the legacy debt in proportion to their full earnings. The legacy tax above the maximum taxable earnings base starts at 3 percent and gradually rises along with the charge for everyone described in the next paragraph, reaching 3.5 percent by 2080.

Third, we impose a universal legacy charge on future workers and beneficiaries, roughly half in the form of benefit reductions for all beneficiaries becoming eligible in or after 2023, and the rest in the form of very modest increases in the payroll tax from 2023 onward. These changes begin right after the last of the benefit reductions that Congress passed in 1983. This universal legacy charge gradually increases over time, so as to help stabilize the ratio of the legacy debt to taxable payroll.

February 19, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Cabinet, Economy, Hillary Clinton, Obama Administration, Politics, Uncategorized.


  1. Omnibus Budget Bill: Healthcare gets $634 billion over 10 years… « Moderate in the Middle replied:

    […] our post on Orszag and Sebelius on health care reform here Almost no one believes that Americans are getting good value for their health care dollars. Some […]


  2. Ode to Gen X… « Moderate in the Middle replied:

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