Saturday, September 12, 2009

Obama ratchets up his health care reform pitch.

I'm pleased that Obama is now putting his weight so much behind this.

Over the last twelve months, nearly six million more Americans lost their health coverage – that’s 17,000 men and women every single day. We’re not just talking about Americans in poverty, either – we’re talking about middle-class Americans. In other words, it can happen to anyone.

And based on a brand-new report from the Treasury Department, we can expect that about half of all Americans under 65 will lose their health coverage at some point over the next ten years. If you’re under the age of 21 today, chances are more than half that you’ll find yourself uninsured at some point in that time. And more than one-third of Americans will go without coverage for longer than one year.

I refuse to allow that future to happen. In the United States of America, no one should have to worry that they’ll go without health insurance – not for one year, not for one month, not for one day. And once I sign my health reform plan into law – they won’t.
I especially like the fact that he is now owning this issue; my health reform plan. That's exactly what he needs to do. People trust him more than they trust the crazies who we have been hearing from over the past month or so.
We have had a long and important debate. But now is the time for action.
He really is pushing this hard now, which is great.


Steel Phoenix said...

There's a big difference between pushing for health insurance and pushing for health care. Rushing forward in the wrong direction won't help anyone.

Kel said...

I thought he was saying that no-one will face the difficulty of being uninsured once his plan is in place.

He's not saying what shape that plan will take, but he is saying that this problem will cease to exist. Isn't he?

daveawayfromhome said...

I'm with SP. I want to see universal health care here in America. Universal health insurance will just mean that yet more tax-payer money will be funnelled into yet another already hugely profitable industry with nothing to show for it but a further increase in the wealth gap.

On the other hand, maybe it'd be best to get everyone health care first, then let outrage change the system. As for the wealth gap, that can always be shrunk with the right tax policy.

Steel Phoenix said...

He is pushing farther than usual into loaded language.

He talks about 'worries' and anxiety' that people could end up without insurance. that it 'keeps them awake at night'. This is politics of fear. He equates losing health insurance with losing health care. I've never had health insurance. I get health care on a regular basis. It's cheaper for me to pay for my own care than to pay the middleman. People say I'm gambling. They're gambling. They are the ones putting the coin in the slot every month. They are the ones paying the house edge, and they are the ones who will find themselves surprised that their insurance won't pay for their care if they ever really need it.

Everything he is bragging about in his plan relies on there being a public option. Without it, how does he plan to make it more affordable by forcing the insurance companies to increase risks? He mentions capping how much they can charge, but what happens if the companies start to fail? They weren't designed to save people money, nor can they, since all they are doing is being a middleman, and they have to pay their own overhead. The best we could hope for is more bailouts for massive failed insurance companies.

As for the plan paying for itself, how can he say that? We heard the same about Social Security. If the plan isn't bringing in enough money to pay for itself, what will they do? Raise the prices on everyone in the program? Raise our taxes and take it from people not under the program? Not pay he hospitals, like the cash for clunkers program?

Reducing the deficit by 4 trillion 'over the long run'; I love that. Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not, it's not the end.

Kel said...

I will admit that I am spoiled, living in a country where healthcare is based on need rather than ability to pay; so perhaps I miss the nuances of what he is saying.

I am still telling myself that Obama has not closed the door to a public option, because I simply see no other way for him to achieve what he claims he wants to achieve.

As you say, the insurance companies are in this for profit, only by introducing a public option - where the need for profit is removed - can Obama begin to build the kind of health system that he is talking about.

daveawayfromhome said...

"The best we could hope for is more bailouts for massive failed insurance companies."

After the fiasco of the bank bailouts, followed almost immediately by huge executive bonuses, I think that more bailouts are becoming less and less of a possibility. If the insurance industry collapses, it will only prove that we should have gone with the public option to start with. Obviously, "socialized" medicine can work, since it does fine in the rest of the industrialized world.

Kel said...

Dave, I agree with Anthony Weiner, Obama should have pursued Medicare for all.

I suppose the reason he held back is because those bloody Blue Dogs would have opposed him.

And you are right, "socialised" medicine works very well all over Western Europe where we all come above the American system in the WHO ranking. And we achieve this whilst spending far less than the US do.