Obamacare headlines: 7/17/09
Despite how fast they're trying to move forward, things are starting to get bumpy for Obamacare. Here's a roundup of some of the latest coverage.
Americans are divided over how they want health care fixed and whom they trust most to do it, refusing to forge a consensus for or against President Barack Obama as he and Congress march toward a historic overhaul. ...
Obama and the Democrats who control Congress are pressing toward a vast overhaul of the health care system that could include tax increases to pay for expanded coverage and a federal government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers as one way to try to rein in insurance costs. Most Republican lawmakers say that a public plan would drive private insurers out of business.
On one key question, the poll found Americans split over the benefits of being able to buy insurance from a new government program. While 40 percent said they thought it would lower the quality of their care, 21 percent said it would improve the quality and 36 percent said it wouldn't make any difference. The rest had no opinion. ...
The survey found the ranks of people who think the country is on the right track dropping to 40 percent, down 12 points since early June and the lowest since Obama took office in January.
One other problem for Obama from this poll: it found that people oppose taxing the value of their employer-provided health insurance, by 64-32. Maybe they were actually paying attention when Obama promised he would never raise taxes on people making under 250 grand.
WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., a leader of fiscally conservative House Democrats, said Wednesday a House plan to overhaul the U.S. health-care system is losing support and will be stuck in committee without changes.
"Last time I checked, it takes seven Democrats to stop a bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee," Ross told reporters after a House vote. "We had seven against it last Friday; we have 10 today."
Three House committees are slated to begin considering the $1 trillion-plus bill this week, but the Energy and Commerce looms as the biggest challenge. That's because it counts among its 36 Democratic members seven members of the Blue Dog Coalition, a fiscally conservative bloc that is opposing the House Democrats' effort.
Now these "fiscally conservative" Democrats will get a chance to prove if they are what they say they are. But I'm not holding my breath.
If President Obama signs either bill into law, he'll be breaking a host of promises. Neither the House nor Senate would guarantee that you can keep your private health plan if you like it. Or that patients will retain their relationships with their doctors.
And that bit about cutting the typical family's health costs by $2,500 a year? A howler, if there ever was one. Deficit neutrality? Level playing field for plan competition? Fuhgeddaboudit.
Each bill would create a new government health plan to compete against private insurers. In the House version, this "competition" would take place via a "national health insurance exchange," a new entity run by a "Health Choices Commissioner." In the Senate, a "public plan" would compete against private health plans through federally supervised state entities called "gateways."
Either way, taxpayers would assume the risks.
No kidding. "Risks" to the tune of over a trillion dollars - they THINK - in less than a decade. Not to mention the non-financial risks of having your health at the mercy of a government run bureaucracy. Now that's "change"...just not much "hope".
And here's my favorite of the day...
Congress's chief budget analyst delivered a devastating assessment yesterday of the health-care proposals drafted by congressional Democrats, fueling an insurrection among fiscal conservatives in the House and pushing negotiators in the Senate to redouble efforts to draw up a new plan that more effectively restrains federal spending.
Under questioning by members of the Senate Budget Committee, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose "the sort of fundamental changes" necessary to rein in the skyrocketing cost of government health programs, particularly Medicare. On the contrary, Elmendorf said, the measures would pile on an expensive new program to cover the uninsured.
After this kind of honesty, this guy better start polishing his resume.