Thursday, February 26, 2009

News You Can Use: Obama budget puts $634B down payment on health care reform

President Obama this morning unveiled his first budget, which includes a $634 billion down payment on achieving universal health care for Americans.

Obama says increasing taxes on the wealthy, cutting wasteful Medicare spending and eliminating certain government subsidies will finance the plan. According to the Associated Press, among the proposed Medicare cuts are curbing payments to insurers serving older Americans and charging wealthier beneficiaries more for the program' s prescription coverage.

However, AP reports, the $634 billion is a little more than half the money needed to insure all Americans, including the some 48 million currently living in the United States without coverage. The nation currently spends more than $2 trillion on health care.

What do you think of the early details -- sketchy though they may be -- of the president's health care budget proposal? Comment and let me know.


MDTrussell said...

I do not think the the term "Universal Healthcare" in this context means covering everyone under one government program. Accounts that I have read note that the $634B is the budget amount being given to Congress which will be charged with coming up with a plan to provide access to affordable coverage to everyone within that budget. It is a way to get Congress focused on the how and not the how much.

Anonymous said...

The only way to achieve Universal Coverage is via Consumer Driven Health Care. You have to put "skin in the game" for the health care purchaser.

I really cannot figure out why anyone would want a system where care is rationed over one where you choose based on the competitive market place.

Remember Government is not the solution to the problem. IT IS the problem.


Anonymous said...

Socialism purely and simply.

Anonymous said...

So first he punishes those who extra hard to earn what they have now he's going to take it out on the elderly too.

Maybe I need to quit my job so I can get some of this free money he wants to give to everyone who doesn't/hasn't pull their own weight.

Anonymous said...

I think this approach is wrongheaded on every point. Increasing taxes on the wealthy will only result in less wealth being created (and his wealthy political allies will somehow escape the increased taxation). Government intervention in any industry tends to make things worse. If they can't manage Medicare and Medicaid how will they manage "universal" healthcare?

John Snodgrasspdstsbooe said...

There's nothing to comment on, except to say that there's nothing to comment on! It reminds me of the "1992 model" that was high on talk and low on details, especially details like what the actual benefits will be, and who is gonna force ALL Americans (unemployed, etc.) to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I don't believe in insuring all Americans at the taxpayers' expense. There are better ways to make insurance more affordable for everyone. Form a bipartisan task force to study this, instead of throwing money at the problem.

Second, Medicare does need "cleaning up", but it should be to clean up the FRAUD. It is OUTRAGEOUS to eliminate benefits for older Americans. These "older" Americans are the backbone of our country - the ones who fought to give us the opportunities we have today. They sacrificed and saved to build their futures, with little help from the government. They EARNED the right to receive medical benefits.

Define "wealthier" beneficiaries.

Where are the details on the $634B? How did they arrive at that number?

This Administration cannot continue to spend money like water. It will break the United States of America.

Anonymous said...

A first step in the right direction. However, the health care crisis is a national crisis and everyone needs to contribute. I didn’t read anything about corporations contributing. Some may say that corporations already doing their part by offering employer based healthcare. However, that’s not enough as employees pay part of the cost of that employer based healthcare. Also taxpayers subsidized part of that cost in the form of the business tax deduction corporations take of that employer based healthcare. So out of the total cost of employer healthcare employees pay in avg 20% and taxpayers absorb about 30% in the form of the tax deduction corporations take. So I would say that out of the total cost of healthcare employers ended up paying about 50-55% of that cost. So, I see room for corporations to contribute more. Corporations fought hard to be recognized legally as citizens or persons from the legal point of view. Well, with the privilege of being legal persons comes also responsibilities.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it true that the statistics about the uninsured are somewhat misleading? Millions of eligible citizens for whatever reason fail to enroll themselves or family members into existing government programs. Millions more are illegal aliens.

The ranks of uninsured American citizens are much too great. But they may not be nearly as great as some think.

Anonymous said...

As a Canadian who became a US Citizen, I know how badly the socialized health care system in Canada works for those who are seriously ill . It would be a shame to see that type of system come to the US and lower our standar of health care. If welfare, social security and health care become a right for all who live here, we will be a socialist society. The wealthy will most certainly move and reside elsewhere, rather than support the masses.

The Intellectual Redneck said...

Taxing the rich at 100% won't pay for Obama's budget. The Wall Street Journal has reported that taxing the rich at 100% won't pay for Obama's budget. Barack Obama promised not to raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000 per year. Where is he going to get the money? The numbers indicate Obama will need to take 100% of the income of everyone making over $75,000.

Anonymous said...

With the stimulus package recently enacted, and subsequent Cobra subsidy through employers shows a step in the right direction, with keeping the delivery of health benefits through the employer based system. The COBRA subsidy is not directly given to the employee, which is definitely a good thing. Another good sign that "Universal Healthcare" is not in the works is that Obama has met with the CEO of Aetna several times over the last few months, which gives a little hope that he is not just listening to his political fundraisers. Universal Healthcare, would literally break the bank of the Federal gov. There is no way we would be able to support that cost associated with that type of spending.