Politics and Political Issues -  Affordable Care Act/"Obamacare" (186264 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host5/10/09 8:57 PM 
To: All  (1 of 4184) 

Health groups offer $2 trillion in cost savings

AP - WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's plan to provide medical insurance for all Americans took a big step toward becoming reality Sunday after leaders of the health care industry offered $2 trillion in spending reductions over 10 years to help pay for the program.

From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host5/10/09 8:59 PM 
To: All  (2 of 4184) 
 118436.2 in reply to 118436.1 
Obama Backs Public and Private Healthcare Insurance
(Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2009)
"The Obama administration's senior healthcare official Wednesday flatly rejected the idea of taking over the nation's medical insurance system, saying the federal government did not want to assume management of healthcare coverage. Kathleen Sebelius, in her first appearance before Congress since being confirmed as the secretary of Health and Human Services, said the administration wanted a 'public plan option' to encourage competition. It does not want to create a monopoly. 'Dismantling the private market and having an entirely public option, a single-payer system, I think is not something that the president supports,' Sebelius told the House Ways and Means Committee. At the same time, Sebelius reaffirmed President Obama's commitment to create a government-run insurance program to compete with private companies -- and to help cover the more than 46 million people in the U.S. without insurance and to encourage cost containment and better programs. 'Competition helps to promote innovation. It helps promote best practices and also can help to lower costs,' the former Kansas governor said."

From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host5/10/09 9:00 PM 
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 118436.3 in reply to 118436.1 
  • Upfront costs complicate Obama's health care plan Sun May 10, 12:46 PM ET AP

    WASHINGTON - Costs are emerging as the biggest obstacle to President Barack Obama's ambitious plan to provide health insurance for everybody.


    From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host5/10/09 9:04 PM 
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     118436.4 in reply to 118436.1 
    Taxing Those With Insurance to Pay for Those Without
    (The New York Times, May 7, 2009)
    "It is an alluring way to pay for the ambitious plan to expand health coverage to the nearly 50 million people who are now uninsured. Simply put, the government would tax the people who already have the most expensive health benefits, as provided by their employers. By one Congressional estimate, taxing...could yield $100 billion in revenue over five years. No wonder Senator Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who is a leader of the health reform effort, seems keen on the idea. And although the candidate Barack Obama criticized the notion last year when Senator John McCain promoted it, the concept now has some support in his administration as part of an overhaul of the health care system. 'There aren’t that many pots of gold to pay for health reform,' said Jonathan Oberlander, a health policy expert at the University of North Carolina. But Mr. Oberlander and some other experts say Congress may have a difficult time devising a new tax on health benefits that does not threaten to do more harm than good. If the plan is not designed carefully, they say, the additional taxes could affect many workers who are far from affluent and put the cost of adequate coverage further beyond the reach of many Americans. Some critics also warn that the taxes could undermine the employer-based coverage that is the bedrock of the nation’s health insurance system. "

    From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host5/10/09 9:10 PM 
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     118436.5 in reply to 118436.1 

    Point -- Counterpoint:

    U.S. Health Plan: Public vs. Private
    (Newsweek, May 2, 2009)
    The Answer Is Unleashing Markets -- Not Government

    A Public Plan Will Reduce Costs and Improve Access


    From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host5/10/09 9:15 PM 
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     118436.6 in reply to 118436.5 
    The Health Care Talks: Will Obama Get More Involved?
    (TIME, May 5, 2009)
    "When Barack Obama informed congressional Republicans last month that he would support a controversial parliamentary move to protect health-care reform from a filibuster in the Senate, they were furious. That meant the bill could pass with a simple majority of 51 votes, eliminating the need for any GOP support for the bill. Where, they demanded, was the bipartisanship the President had promised? So, right there in the Cabinet Room, the President put a proposal on the table, according to two people who were present. Obama said he was willing to curb malpractice awards, a move long sought by the Republicans and certain to bring strong opposition from the trial lawyers who fund the Democratic Party. What, he wanted to know, did the Republicans have to offer in return? Nothing, it turned out. Republicans were unprepared to make any concessions, if they had any to make. But the encounter did make some Democrats wish they could see more of that kind of presidential engagement on the issue that Obama says is his top legislative priority. 'I want the White House involved, maybe to be at the table,' says Senator Chris Dodd, the second-ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. 'It's very important.'"

    From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host5/11/09 8:14 AM 
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     118436.7 in reply to 118436.1 
    Obama has meeting today to discuss health care AP

    WASHINGTON - Hospitals, insurance companies, drug makers and doctors are planning to tell President Barack Obama today that they'll voluntarily slow their rate increases in coming years in a move that government economists say would create breathing room to help provide health insurance to an estimated 50 million Americans who now go without it.


    From: Joanne (spiesonline) DelphiPlus Member Icon5/13/09 11:55 PM 
    To: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (8 of 4184) 
     118436.8 in reply to 118436.4 

    <<If the plan is not designed carefully, they say, the additional taxes could affect many workers who are far from affluent and put the cost of adequate coverage further beyond the reach of many Americans.>>

    Obama promised not to raise income taxes for people making less than a certain amount.  However, what is the difference between raising income taxes and raising health care taxes?  It's all money out of your pocket. 

    One thing is certain (in my mind, anyway).  Things are going to get worse for most people.  The Commerce Department has announced that consumer spending is going way down.  With 70 million baby boomers due to retire this year, Social Security and Medicare have 53 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Chrysler is about to close 800 dealerships, which will put lots more people out of work.  According to RealtyTrac, 682,000 people rec'd home foreclosure notices in the March-April period.  Not good.



    From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host5/15/09 1:30 AM 
    To: Joanne (spiesonline) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (9 of 4184) 
     118436.9 in reply to 118436.1 

    Bipartisan health consensus emerges


    Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said Thursday that he considers it a “strong assumption” that every American will be required to purchase health insurance as part of a health care reform bill.  Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking Republican, agreed with the assessment after emerging from an eight-hour negotiating session. The early consensus on an individual mandate – lawmakers prefer describing it as “responsibility” – means a concept that once divided Democrats and Republicans now appears to be accepted principle. There is agreement on the committee that the only way to lower insurance costs is by finding some way to bring every American into the system, the senators said.


    From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host5/16/09 6:21 PM 
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     118436.10 in reply to 118436.1 
    Health Care Leaders Say Obama Overstated Their Promise to Control Costs
    (The New York Times, May 14, 2009)
    "After meeting with six major health care organizations, Mr. Obama hailed their cost-cutting promise as historic. 'These groups are voluntarily coming together to make an unprecedented commitment,' Mr. Obama said. 'Over the next 10 years, from 2010 to 2019, they are pledging to cut the rate of growth of national health care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year -- an amount that’s equal to over $2 trillion.' Health care leaders who attended the meeting have a different interpretation. They say they agreed to slow health spending in a more gradual way and did not pledge specific year-by-year cuts. 'There’s been a lot of misunderstanding that has caused a lot of consternation among our members,' said Richard J. Umbdenstock, the president of the American Hospital Association. 'I’ve spent the better part of the last three days trying to deal with it.' Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, said 'the president misspoke' on Monday and again on Wednesday when he described the industry’s commitment in similar terms."

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