Saturday, December 19, 2009

More on the Package -- From President Obama

On a "Patients' Bill of Rights":

. . . .The President calls on the Senate to allow an up-or-down vote, and for those opposing reform to stop using parliamentary maneuvers to drag it out. . . .

It has now been nearly a century since Theodore Roosevelt first called for health care reform. And ever since, nearly every President and Congress, whether Democrat or Republican, has attempted to meet this challenge in some way. A bill for comprehensive health reform was first introduced by John Dingell Sr. in 1943. Sixty-five years later, his son continues to introduce that same bill at the beginning of each session. . . .

Our collective failure to meet this challenge -- year after year, decade after decade -- has led us to the breaking point. Everyone understands the extraordinary hardships that are placed on the uninsured, who live every day just one accident or illness away from bankruptcy. These are not primarily people on welfare. These are middle-class Americans. Some can't get insurance on the job. Others are self-employed, and can't afford it, since buying insurance on your own costs you three times as much as the coverage you get from your employer. Many other Americans who are willing and able to pay are still denied insurance due to previous illnesses or conditions that insurance companies decide are too risky or too expensive to cover.

We are the only democracy -- the only advanced democracy on Earth -- the only wealthy nation -- that allows such hardship for millions of its people. There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage. In just a two-year period, one in every three Americans goes without health care coverage at some point. And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage. In other words, it can happen to anyone. . . .

The time is drawing near -- to cast an up or down vote -- time for Republicans to stand in the way of progress, or agree to get on board the train, and ride with it. But make no mistake, without the sea-change signaled by President Obama's election, this effort would be dead in the water.


Anonymous said...

"...time for Republicans to stand in the way of progress, or agree to get on board the train, and ride with it."


My only comment, there are too many other Congressional leaders that are waffling too! Not just the Republicans.

The President should use similar words.

Condor said...

Fair enough -- you are right.

There are some obstructionists on both sides of the aisle, and in both chambers. Just the same -- here's to the audacity of. . . hope -- it may be the best of all things.


Anonymous said...

...I say this as an independent...and with the knowledge that various types of reform is needed...but this current train is going to lead us to destruction as a country. Nothing "service wise" in this bill kicks in until 2014 but we begin to pay taxes and fees next year. So no wonder the CBO can provide a 10 year score as a decrease. The involved parties are crooks in this bill. Paying bribes to each other for votes while the treasury prints more money each day that my grandchildren just will not repay to the Chinese. Has anyone looked to the future to see that our current short term debt (T-bills) will mature to higher interest rates. If we get to an inverted yield curve, say go by to prosperity for a good 10 years...The interest cost will bankrupt us.

Secondly, there is nothing in this bill that protects the doctors. Be in legal or revenue wise. I am around various physicians every day who basically tell me that they their first step will be to not accept Medicare. Their second step will be to retire. If that happens, we cannot produce enough medical students each year to cover the physician drop out rate.

Thirdly, I go to jail or pay an incredible fine for not having insurance that the HHS has to approve. Can't wait for the SCOTUS to hear these constitunional arguments. And in 12 to 15 years, we will all see that as with all the other government entitlement programs the economic assumptions made to come to these conclusions were vastly understated in spending and over stated in revenue.

Condor--the question is---what GDP growth estimate does the CBO use as an average to project the revenues to offset the spending over the 10 years??? Riddle me that change batman.

Condor said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Anon. -- I agree the bill is not perfect -- far from it.

To say this bill will lead to the destruction of the country is to ignore the reality -- and the reality that doing nothing (as the opposition has proposed for a half-century, and still so proposes) will bankrupt the country.

Next, doctors fare better than expected under this bill. I suspect you dislike the fact that doctors in the US will no longer make 40 percent more than their counterparts in the rest of the western world.

We have simply been overpaying doctors in America -- and that level of overpayment will decrease -- but not be eliminated, under the bill.

Moreover, a requirement for purchasing insurance is plainly constitutional -- every state now does so, for auto insurance. As you are no doubt aware, one may presnetly go to jail if one drives without it. The plan's mandatory insurance features will clearly survive any constitutional challenge.

Finally, the CBO simply tells us the cost of the bills -- without respect to partisan politics.

So, I trust them.