Monday, June 22, 2009

Democrats May Really be Feckless

The public overwhelmingly supports universal health coverage. So does Dan. The president says the time to address health care is now.

Republicans, of course, think it is preferable to continue running a system that costs more, works worse and results in a large section of our country having no coverage. But Republicans face a Democratic party with a huge (though not insurmountable) majority, and the public does not see it their way.

This all should add up to Democrats delivering on one of the major initiatives President Obama campaigned on. How are they doing? Paul Krugman has a nice column in the Times about how they are about to vomit all over themselves.

What the balking Democrats seem most determined to do is to kill the public option, either by eliminating it or by carrying out a bait-and-switch, replacing a true public option with something meaningless. For the record, neither regional health cooperatives nor state-level public plans, both of which have been proposed as alternatives, would have the financial stability and bargaining power needed to bring down health care costs.

Whatever may be motivating these Democrats, they don’t seem able to explain their reasons in public.

Thus Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska initially declared that the public option — which, remember, has overwhelming popular support — was a “deal-breaker.” Why? Because he didn’t think private insurers could compete: “At the end of the day, the public plan wins the day.” Um, isn’t the purpose of health care reform to protect American citizens, not insurance companies?
Republicans say a lot of things about Democrats that are wildly inaccurate and slanderous. The fact that they are spineless may not be one of those things.


Anonymous said...

What does higher taxes really mean? At what level. I think it people continue to miss this important point. Granted, I think anyone with a heart wants all Americans to have access to health care. But who is going to pay for it and how? Are you willing to pay 50-60% higher taxes to support this plan. You can't just say tax the rich or corporations. It is already predicted that by 2019 the interest payments alone on our national debt with be 806 billion dollars. If you taxed the total 2008 profits of Exxon Mobil (45.2B), General Electric (17.41 B) Walmart (12.7 B and IBM (12.3) at a 100%, this is still on a 1/3 of the amount needed just to pay the annual interest rate on our debt and no principle. We have created a bottomless pit. Remember when we let the government create social security and then borrow that money to use to pay for other programs and debt. Do you honestly think you will ever receive a dime of social security?

Jim said...

Why on earth would it take 50% to 60% higher taxes? A 50% increase in individual taxes would pay the entire cost of the health plan in one year. I don't think that is what they have in mind.

An AP article on the subject said this:

"The list of options being weighed by the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, and obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, aims to raise some $600 billion over 10 years to partially pay for President Barack Obama's goal of overhauling the nation's health care system to tame costs and cover the 50 million uninsured.

The final price tag for that effort could top $1 trillion, with cuts to Medicare and Medicaid covering the rest of the cost.

The tax options include:

_ Increasing the price of soda and other sugary drinks by 10 cents a can.

_ Applying a potential 2 percent income tax increase to single taxpayers earning more than $200,000 a year and households earning more than $250,000.

_ A new employer payroll tax could target 3 percent of employers' health care expenditures.

_ Taxing employer-provided health insurance benefits above certain levels — a less likely option but one that still is in the running."

Also, an interesting thing about a truly public health plan is that it is the least expensive option on the table. But as I said, the Democrats may be too wussy to think about that option seriously.

Anonymous said...

I think you missed some very valuable points.

First, you are adding another significant cost to our already out of control deficit that Obama has stated "keeps him up at night"

Some analysis of cost below can be seen:

In 2008, health care spending in the United States reached $2.4 trillion, and was projected to reach $3.1 trillion in 2012.1 Health care spending is projected to reach $4.3 trillion by 2016.1

This will have to be payed for yearly. Granted some will maintain insurance through private insurance (unless government takes over private insurance and then it will assume their cost as well). But even this will not cover all individuals and isn't this the ultimate goal? That all have medical coverage? See below:

The blog of the C.B.O. director, Douglas W. Elmendorf, taking into account new “gateways” for access to health insurance, says:

According to our preliminary assessment, enacting the proposal would result in a net increase in federal budget deficits of about $1.0 trillion over the 2010-2019 period. When fully implemented, about 39 million individuals would obtain coverage through the new insurance exchanges. At the same time, the number of people who had coverage through an employer would decline by about 15 million (or roughly 10 percent), and coverage from other sources would fall by about 8 million, so the net decrease in the number of people uninsured would be about 16 million or 17 million.

Remember we already have 45 to 50 million uninsured and we are decreasing it by appx 17 million at a price tag of 1 trillion. That still leaves appx 28 million uninsured and are goal is all to have coverage. will have to either raise cost or ration healthcare. Who gets to decide who lives and who dies then?

Bottom line everyone (and I mean everyone) is going to pay more taxes in some shape or form. By continuing to increase taxes on goods soda ect., you are simply going to hurt those that you were trying to help in the first place.

As I stated in my previous post, Even if we had zero deficit, the cost of maintaining this type of program from now on is not feasible and will ultimately lead to substandard health care.


Free Blog Counter