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Đang hiển thị bài đăng từ tháng mười một, 2009

There Are Four Health Insurance Renewal Cycles and Two Elections Between Now and 2014—Could be Sort of Like a “Death By a Thousand Cuts” for the Dems

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a report today saying that if the Reid bill becomes law the price of non group policies would be about 10 percent to 13 percent higher in 2016 than it would be under current law. The CBO projects that small group and large group premiums would be about the same in 2016 as they would have been anyway as the benefits of the bill would offset some of its

The Senate Democratic Health Care Bill is a “Milestone” on the Road to Cost Containment—If It Is It's a Pretty Small One

The Obama administration is reportedly pleased with a recent Ron Brownstein article in the Atlantic.In it Brownstein praises the Reid Senate health care bill for the steps it takes toward containing costs. He quotes MIT economist Jonathan Gruber who says, “My summary is it's really hard to figure out how to bend the cost curve, but I can't think of a thing to try that they didn't try. They really

Don't Rationalize Busting the Budget--Start Over

I detect a growing rationalization among supporters of the Democratic health care bills: The recent flare-up over when a woman should have a mammogram proves we are nowhere near ready to pass a health care reform bill that will actually control costs. So, why bother?You would be hard pressed to find any health policy expert who isn’t disappointed that cost containment has fallen off the health

The Democratic Health Care Effort--A Political "Charge of the Light Brigade?"

The latest polls are an unmitigated disaster for Democrats even as they're on a fast track to get their health care legislation passed.This from Rasmussen this morning:“Just 38% of voters now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s the lowest level of support measured for the plan in nearly two dozen tracking polls conducted since June.“The

How Can Harry Reid Keep a Straight Face Telling Us His Health Bill Will Reduce the Deficit?

The accounting gimmickry in Harry Reid’s Senate health bill is astounding even by Capitol Hill standards.Reid says his bill will cost $850 billion and reduce the deficit by $130 billion—all over ten years.Based upon the outline Reid gave the CBO that could well be right. But let’s look at it further:Reid delays most of the spending in the bill to 2014—a year longer than in the House. More

Why Isn't the Press Talking About Affordability--For "Ordinary Folks"?

I thought Trudy Lieberman hit the nail on the head in a post she did yesterday at the Columbia Journalism Review entitled, "Missing Persons--How Will Reform Affect Ordinary Folks." Here is a small part of it:The media have talked about affordability mostly in the context of whether the country can afford reform, not whether individuals can afford it. It’s easier for a reporter to write about

The Outlook for a Health Care Bill in 2009

Readers of this blog know of my yearlong pessimism over our getting a trillion dollar health care bill in 2009.With the historic passage of the House bill, are we now on our way to a big health care bill in 2009—or even by early 2010?Clearly, Democrats desperately want to pass a bill. Given their compromise over abortion and the neutering of the public option in the House legislation—things most

The End of the "Robust" Public Option and the Potential for "Robust" Cost Containment?

Two things happened this week that in tandem have the potential to lead to a compromise over a health care bill.First, there are unconfirmed reports that Senate Majority Leader Reid is leaning toward offering the neutered version of the public option like that in the House--not tied to Medicare rates, providers not required to participate, and provider reimbursement rates negotiated.The second

The Best Health Care Idea All Year

Out of almost nowhere has come momentum for a proposal to create a bipartisan entitlement and tax commission to draft proposals to control the long-term costs of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The idea would require the Congress to quickly vote the recommendations up or down via a super majority vote.The idea isn't new--proposals for a such a commission have been around for a

The House Health Bill--Loading More People Onto the Titanic

Our health care system is truly titanic, in more than one sense of the word.Not only is it huge, but it's also growing at unsustainable rates that undermine our health care security and fiscal stability - and threaten to sink the system under its own weight.When the health care debate began in earnest just after the November 2008 election, it was supposed to be about reform-moving the nation

AMA Supports the House Democratic Health Care Bill--Take Another Look

The AMA came out in support of the House Democratic health care bill this afternoon—sort of. From their press release:“The American Medical Association (AMA) today announced support for concurrent passage of H.R. 3962 and H.R. 3961, U.S. House of Representatives health system reform bills."I would suggest the operative word is "concurrent."HR 3962 is the big House health care bill. HR 3961 is the

The House Bill Should Be Defeated on Saturday

Here's the email I just sent my Congressman, freshman "Blue Dog" Frank Kratovil of Maryland:Please vote no this weekend on the House bill.This is not health care reform.This is at least a $1 trillion entitlement expansion paid for half with only modest provider cuts and $500 billion in taxes.Real cost containment would bend the curve and produce the savings needed to accomplish universal

The Neutered Public Option—Where’s the Rage?

The public option contained in the House Democratic health care bill is hardly more than a neutered version of the “robust” public option one House Democrat after another said was a minimum requirement to keep their vote on health care reform. After threatening for months to fall on their swords if they didn’t get the “robust Medicare-like” version, there was nothing but enthusiastic support for