Obama’s Healthcare Press Conference Shows President Sitill Partisan

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by JimofPennsylvan, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. JimofPennsylvan
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    JimofPennsylvan VIP Member

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    President Obama’s leadership on healthcare as it pertains to this past Wednesday’s Press Conference deserves a grade of C+ when the country needed a President performing at an A grade. The President at this conference needed to address and allay the fears of many Americans, through detailed promises, that he would not let the government sponsored healthcare insurance program that the reform legislation will create over time drive the vast majority of Americans out of private health insurance program into this government plan because private healthcare insurance programs will be significantly more expensive from fallout of the government sponsored program mandating low payments to medical care providers causing these providers to make up their losses at the private healthcare insurance companies expense. President Obama could have said that there will be provisions in the reform legislation mandating that for the government sponsored program any mandates on prices for medical care providers will not be below these medical care providers’ costs, private health care insurance companies will be able to pay medical care providers these same low rates and that for any federal government financial assistance to the government sponsored program private health care insurance programs will get the same kind of financial assistance. President Obama needed to make commitments that private health insurance companies would receive a fair playing field against a government sponsored program.

    President Obama and the Whitehouse ignoring this issue won’t make it go away. The Whitehouse saying this is a “strawman argument” is an insult to the American people, it insults their intelligence. To state or imply that the government sponsored program will over time provide “affordable” health care premiums because of savings resulting from the government program not having profit concerns or from savings on administrative costs private health care insurance companies have to deal with is preposterous and is completely without merit and illegitimate. There is only three ways the government sponsored program over time can provide affordable premiums which are – the government subsidizes the program, mandate low payment fees on health care providers or restrict services on enrollees in the government sponsored program. The latter won’t be done initially because a specific objective of the reform legislation is to mandate a good minimum level of service coverage on all health insurance programs offered in the United States. The government will pursue one or both of the former two options which will create an unfair playing field toward private insurance companies and over time will largely drive them out of business because it will undercut them on insurance premium price thus eventually creating a single payer government sponsored healthcare system and because of the nature of health care costs which rise annually at a higher level than inflation, this single payer government sponsored program will have to restrict treatments and ration health care services.

    By President Obama’s failure to show leadership on this specific issue and insure private insurance companies have a fair playing field against the public option he is sentencing the country to decades of fighting over this issue. Because many Americans will not lay down for this, they will fight to keep a healthy private healthcare insurance industry and the freedom of choice this industry provides in this vital area for the American people.

    President Obama’s press conference should have raised some other concerns for ordinary Americans. The MEDPAC idea was mentioned, the idea that a medical expert panel be created to make yearly recommendations on cost savings and quality improvements in the Medicare system. This is in essence a great idea because Medicare’s current cost growth is unsustainable and politics play too much of a role in the Congressional oversight and regulation of Medicare. The problem with this MEDPAC idea is that the Congress has to on a yearly basis accept or reject all of the panels recommendations, it can’t select just the recommendations that are good. This is a foolish restriction it will result in good recommendations not being implemented because they are included in a package with one or more not good recommendations. The other disconcerting point mentioned during the news conference is that two-thirds of the costs of this legislation will be paid for by savings within the Medicare/Medicaid system. That means $666 billion dollars of savings will be found in the Medicare/Medicaid system – this is hard to believe that such an amount of reliable savings will be made in this system. Good judgment calls for the Congress and the President to increase the revenue raising elements of this reform legislation to make the legislation reasonable and reliable.
     

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