They Want it All, and They Want it Now:Team TOTUS Tactics:It’s a Crisis! Orszag at OMB Declares Social Security/Medicare Shortage Imminent..(thus necessitating immediate health care reform ya dig?)

Same Technique, Different Target and the journOlists are happily repeating the hype and preparing to scare Americans into immediate URGENT reform..I am willing to lay my money down now that we will see a sudden plethora of reporting on the crisis in Medicare….so it MUST simply MUST be done NOW NOW NOW

It is like 5 y/o kids hepped up on candy are running the country, they want it all and they want it now..speaking of which, how bout some Queen?

Hope the rest of y’all in GEN X are ready to work into your 80s sans hip replacements, how the hell we are supposed to work longer with less medical intervention escapes them…

Bloomberg:

..Preliminary skirmishes over clamping down on offshore corporate tax havens, taxing employee benefits and winning discounts on drug prices may dictate the fate of the president’s plan to broaden U.S. health-insurance coverage and cut costs.

Obama wants to enact the plan, with a 10-year price tag he estimates at $634 billion, without boosting a budget deficit projected to reach $1.8 trillion this year. So, while trying to agree on the biggest health-care revamp since Medicare started in 1965, lawmakers also must pick winners and losers among spending cuts and tax increases they need to fund it.

“It’s the most difficult political decision we have to make,” said Senator Charles Grassley, the Finance Committee’s top Republican. “You’re talking about saving money on Medicare; that’s always controversial. You’re talking about maybe tax increases; that’s very controversial. There’s hardly anything with financing that is not going to be controversial.”

Insuring more Americans by cutting coverage for those already insured and limiting treatment options, uh-huh:

.Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus says the government can save billions by basing Medicare payments on the quality and not just the quantity of care….

That’s code for limiting hospital stays for those who have not spent 20 years in the industry…

…Obama’s 2010 budget proposes to pay for his health plan in part by raising $267 billion from limiting deductions by upper- income taxpayers for items such as charitable donations and home-mortgage interest. The Senate unanimously rejected that idea last month, citing potential harm to charities.

Obama proposes another $309 billion in cuts to health-care programs, including $177 billion in savings from payments to private insurance companies participating in the Medicare program, such as UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Humana Inc. The administration also wants pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly & Co. and AstraZeneca Plc to offer bigger drug discounts to Medicaid and would reduce federal payments to hospitals with high patient-readmission rates.

There it is in black and white, cutting payments to hospitals who keep readmitting those pesky elderly patents!!

One way to do it is of course the way MAC proposed and Obama blasted, LOL:

..Wyden has proposed taxing employer-paid health insurance premiums, which could bring in $700 billion over five years, or more than the proposal’s current estimated cost.

Baucus said at today’s roundtable that lawmakers are considering reducing the tax break on benefits, although he said they won’t repeal it altogether.

The benefits tax idea is politically dicey for Obama, who last year lambasted Republican presidential nominee John McCain for a similar proposal. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the Ways and Means Committee last week that the administration is willing to consider the proposal.

What does MAC say about that?

Asked about Sebelius’s comments, McCain, a Republican senator from Arizona, laughed and said, “it’s a logical step; that’s why I proposed it during the campaign.”

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May 12, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Entertainment, Healthcare, Music, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, Taxes, Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Obama Healthcare Summit…WSJ Poll shows less support for UHC than in 93….

accidental-health-insurancecom

Team Obama is kicking off the push for healthcare expansion and cost containment tomorrow today with a ‘summit’ of some sort..they are choosing again to hand a tabula rasa to Congress and have (on the surface) been content to let Congress get their hands dirty with the mucky details (conveniently leaving Congress’ fingerprints all over the thing)..

Obama’s Next Summit, Fortune:

On Thursday, the White House will host a “summit” to start the process of deciding how to best spend that money. According to a White House official, about 120 people are expected to attend, including members of Congress from both parties and people who were part of the debate over health care reform in 1993.

Filling up a bucket of money and handing it over to a committee could create a different set of perceptions and problems. Will the process have a coherent policy outcome? Or will it just be a feast for industry lobbies and their congressional benefactors?

But this is Budget Director Peter Orszag’s baby and listening to him testify today, I got chills frankly. Listen to him explain to Rep Spratt how it is more cost effective to have less specialist visits, repeat admissions and other pesky expensive treatment in the LAST  6 MONTHS OF LIFE FOR MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES. Very Kevorkianesque….Gawd creepy pencil pushing number crunchers..

Baby Boomers better vote in 2010….I worked in health insurance for over 15 years and if you think HMOs denying treatment is bad that is nothing if Medicare starts trying to apply their statistical estimates of appropriate duration and type of treatment…

I predict black market medical care and the wealthy having their own networks of care, it has already begun I saw a blurb about a membership plan where they pay a huge sum and get treated by the best whenever wherever, and no one gives them shxt about an MRI…for those of us who have great insurance now we work so hard, for but cannot afford the private Dr Kildares, well it bites…

The spending in the stimulus and budget lay the groundwork:

First the president signed a $33 billion bill expanding government coverage to 4 million additional children. The stimulus bill signed two weeks ago included $130 billion in health care spending. Finally, in its first budget, the new administration set aside $634 billion in a fund that will be spent on the three legs of reform: increasing coverage, raising quality and lowering costs.

Here is a very interesting part of that WSJ poll that the media did not cover, how the public views UHC right now…

From KaiserNetwork:

However, the poll “flashed warning signs for the administration” on health care, the Journal reports.

Forty-nine percent of U.S. residents said they were willing to pay higher taxes so that every U.S. resident could have health coverage, compared with 66% in March 1993 when former President Clinton attempted to overhaul the health care system.

According to the Journal, “That underscores why the administration is focused on cutting costs, not covering the uninsured.”

Max Baucus D-MT wants real UHC,  Obama did not support the universal mandate in the primaries. Baucus and Grassley are ready to launch a bill this summer, but Baucus is following Team Obama’s script to the letter, no doubt since Obama is letting him carry the ball:

Philadelphia Inquirer:

Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and one of the most influential voices in Washington on health care, promised yesterday to introduce comprehensive health-care legislation in June, certainly before the chamber’s August recess.

He said that he planned to introduce a bipartisan bill with Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R., Iowa) that would adopt a mix of public and private solutions and that he hoped 70 senators would approve it.

Baucus has clearly embraced Orszag’s cost effectiveness model to sell it to America, I guess they read the polls too, heh. But healthcare economists note that is not a policy it is a slogan..in practice it sounds like a horror scene, like the ER in Jamaica Hospital…(sorry JH but seriously, I used to tell people if anything happens dont let them take me to Jamaica Hospital)…

Now it’s time to move from first steps to giant steps,” he said. “There’s never been a better moment. The stars are all aligning. . . . I don’t know if any president has been as committed as President Obama.”

Baucus said it was too early to be specific about exactly how things would work under the legislation. He spent last year holding hearings and writing a white paper, “A Call to Action,” which he said was similar to Obama’s and close to the new Massachusetts plan now providing near-universal coverage to residents there.

(more…)

March 5, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Cabinet, Economy, Healthcare, Politics, Taxatrion, Taxes, Uncategorized. 1 comment.

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