Day by Day

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The outline of our healthcare future

Obama's Next Big Battle: Affordable Health Care

Obama is asking for $634 billion in his new budget to be put aside over the next 10 years as a sort of health care fund. He says some of the money will come from taxing the wealthy and through trimming the fat in current government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

The budget calls for also taking, over 10 years, $175 billion in fees that the government now pays insurance companies to cover more than 10 million people in private Medicare. The administration has said that that such private plans cost 14 percent more than traditional Medicare.

In his weekly video address Saturday, Obama acknowledged that "the insurance industry won't like the idea that they'll have to bid competitively to continue offering Medicare coverage, but that's how we'll help preserve and protect Medicare and lower health care costs for American families."

Others that might suffer under his budget include hospitals, drug makers and home health services. All have powerful lobbying groups.

The ambitious plan comes during the worst economic crisis this country has seen in a generation. Health care reform wasn't achievable in even the best of times. Now, it could be that much harder.

What is not being said is that Medicare and Medicaid are hardly accepted because they do not even cover the providers costs. He talks about hospitals, drug makers and home health having powerful lobbying groups, the reality is that hospitals have to treat whom ever comes into the Emergency Room, Drug companies spend millions trying to formulate new drugs, many of which never make it through the trials, and home health is a lot cheaper than nursing homes. People who have no health insurance can go to county or urgency care clinics and emergency rooms if they need. They will not be turned away for inability to pay. There is no reality hear. We will see socialized health care that no one wants.

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