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.

PEBO to talk Health Care, Hillary gets the Last Laugh…

As PEBO gets ready to talk health care and announce Daschle for HHS Secretary (10 mins to LIVE coverage); it is useful to review Hillary’s plan for universal coverage and cost-savings. I am hopeful they use this as a template. If we don’t start with a universal mandate we will not get there, and Max Baucus – D-MT, Chairman of the Senate Finance Cmte said this himself at a presser a few weeks ago, laying down his chips..

Ezra Klein spoke to Baucus at the convention about the mandate issue:

MB: Universal coverage, that’s one. Every American has health insurance.

EK: When you say universal coverage, do you mean universal access to coverage or literally ever American is guaranteed, either they have to get through an individual mandate or the government says you’ll have it or…?

MB: More than access. It’s there, it’s there. I’m not sure exactly what it is.

EK: So you need to take it a step further than the Obama campaign?

MB: Well I wouldn’t phrase it that way. He has an individual mandate for children, he doesn’t for others, but I don’t see how you can get meaningful universal coverage without a mandate. It’s pretty hard to get universal coverage without a mandate. You need the large pool to deal with preexisting conditions. It’s very hard to get to meaningful universal coverage without a mandate.

Yes Max it certainly is, and that is why millions of us supported Hillary and found this a STARK contrast in the Obama and Clinton plans…

50lo_080318_baucus

Here is Baucus’ plan on his website which has a banner calling for action, he is serious about the mandate, hooray!:

…A CALL TO ACTION . . .

It is the duty of the next President and the next Congress to reform America’s health care system. In 2009, Congress must take up and act on meaningful health reform legislation that achieves universal coverage while also addressing the underlying problems in our health system. The urgency of this task has become undeniable….

The white paper from Baucus is 98 pages long and the pdf can be found here.

“Once affordable, high-quality, and meaningful health insurance options are available to all Americans through their employers or through the Exchange, individuals would have a responsibility to have health coverage. This step is necessary for insurance market reforms to function properly and to end the cost shifting that occurs within the system. It is expected that the vast majority of American employers would continue to provide coverage as a competitive benefit to attract employees. Except for small firms, employers that choose otherwise must contribute to a fund that would help cover those who remain uninsured.”

PEBO and Daschle seem to be ahead of the pundits talking down the health care plan and have prepared for duel fronts of action, WSJ, which has had an ongoing editorial page battle with Baucus about their coverage of his plans, reports:

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is being named to duel posts this morning: secretary of health and human services, and head of a new White House office on health reform, giving him a prominent perch for a major push for health care legislation. For Daschle, the double duty is meant to avoid the scenario that unfolded in the Clinton administration, where the White House took the lead on health reform and left Donna Shalala, who was HHS secretary, largely on the sidelines.

Many of the groups that fought Hillary’s plan in 93 are now on board much to the chagrin of the WSJ Editorial Page:

…They may succeed, which is no surprise given that many corporations would be only too happy to dump their health liabilities on the government. The “Divided We Fail” coalition, which advocates “universal” coverage, includes not only usual suspects like unions and AARP but also the Business Roundtable and the National Federation of Independent Business, the small-business lobby that led the charge against HillaryCare…..

-snip-

…This mentality is nicely captured by Tom Daschle, the former Senate Majority Leader who Barack Obama has tapped to run Health and Human Services. “I think that ideological differences and disputes over policy weren’t really to blame,” he writes of 1994 in his book “Critical,” published earlier this year. Despite “a general agreement on basic reform principles,” the Clintons botched the political timing by focusing on the budget, trade and other priorities before HillaryCare.

President-elect Obama will not make the same mistake. Congressional Democrats are already deep into the legislative weeds, while Mr. Daschle is organizing the interest groups and a grassroots lobbying effort. Mr. Obama may be gesturing at a more centrist direction in economics and national security, but health care is where he seems bent on pleasing the political left….

Hillary’s plan (see after the jump)  sounds just like Baucus’ plan, methinks our Hillary has had the last laugh, PEBO will have to fight Baucus to keep out the mandate he fought through the primary..and I could not be happier..

APTOPIX Democrats Unions

Hillary’s plan as presented at George Washington University in May of 2007:

(more…)

December 11, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Cabinet, Center for American Progress, Economy, Foreclosures, Healthcare, Hillary Clinton, Housing, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, TARP, Wall St. 5 comments.

%d bloggers like this: