There is no Obama Health Care Plan
Jul 23 05:42
I’ve gotten e-mails and phone calls from some of you asking for more specifics on the Obama health care plan, and so I’ve done some reading and calling around to see what I can find out.
First, we know Obama was a community organizer. This is important to remember, as his organizing experience seems to be a strong influence on the health care reform effort.
For example, it may explain why there actually isn’t any such thing as an Obama health care plan. Instead, Obama decided the most effective strategy was to set down three principles and then organize Congress to solve the problem itself. These principles are as follows: The plan must reduce costs, guarantee every American can choose their own plan (including a public option) and ensure quality and affordable health care.
But don’t be surprised if that second principle gets watered down. It may turn out that if we are already covered by a plan, we can’t really switch to another option — we’ll still be “owned” by whatever company currently covers us.
So where is this tri-principle congressional plan? There are five bills floating around, three in the House and two (sort of) in the Senate. The House bills are basically the same bill being processed in three different committees.
Many think the game’s not in the House anyway, that the “real” bill that will “really” pass is the one that cleared the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee yesterday. This bill is said to standardize benefits, limit costs, and give insurance companies some guidelines about how they’re supposed to operate. I’m told this will be helpful to all of us who have “pre-existing conditions,” as it should bring down co-pays and deductibles.
Personally, I hope it does. Because of my MS, between January and May I saw over five specialists, some more than once, each with their own costly tests and co-pays — I’m actually running a tab at my MRI provider.
The second Senate bill, which is expected to come out of the Finance committee, isn’t actually a bill yet. We’ll see if it surfaces, now that the first bill has been passed.
A word about long-term care and health care reform: The odds are about 1,000 to 1 that the initial health care reform will incorporate the Community Choice Act. Many Americans are already worried about how much reform will cost, on top the “Great Recession.” Adding long term care costs to health care reform is seen as political folly. Many fine minds believe the opposite is true, that reform without addressing long term care is disastrous, but there you have it. Still, there is hope that if the economy settles down and reform passes, Obama will keep his promise and support the CCA.
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Jul 23 10:32
At this point, I think Obama will do whatever he can to get something he can sign, and then the tweaking, or re-reform, will start. There are tremendous problems with how this is playing out. I guess I'm of the school of "anything's better than what we've got," but I am also disappointed at the unchallenged institutional bias, and very disappointed that most likely we won't really be able to pick and choose between our plan and the public option. I fear we'll be stuck, as we are now, with really no choice. But it will be good for those who have nothing, I suppose.
Gary Presley |
Jul 23 09:00
A decent "universal" coverage plan would be a good first step in assisting people with disabilities. The president is attempting to change the course of an "ocean liner" of special interests in regard to the CCA. I think he supports it, would implement it, but in a benign Machiavellian sense, he's willing to defer to the Congressional/special interest alliance in order to get a bare-bones health care plan. My question: why not simply make Medicare available to everyone?