Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Obama Health Care for Your Family

President Obama's announced number one domestic priority is to require healthcare of all Americans. His main vehicle to accomplish this goal: a government run health care program ala Canada and socialist Europe. Yikes...There is a reason why Canadians now come south of the border for their healthcare needs...

I did some digging and here's what it may look like if it passes Congress:

-Cost. The Obama campaign estimates his health care reform plan will cost between $50 and $65 billion a year when fully phased in. He assumes that it will be paid from savings in the system and from discontinuing the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 per year.I doubt the cost- it will be higher.

-Its broken into three parts: 1. Quality, Affordable & Portable Health Coverage For All 2. Modernizing The U.S. Health Care System To Lower Costs & Improve Quality, and 3. Promoting Prevention & Strengthening Public Health.

-Savings. Obama claims that his health care reform plan will save the typical family up to $2,500 every year. Yet, specifics are hard to find.

-Obama’s key components here include:

•Establishing a new public program that would look a lot like Medicare for those under age-65 that would be available to those who do not have access to an employer plan or qualify for existing government programs like Medicaid or SCHIP. This would also be open to small employers who do not offer a private plan.
•Creating a “National Health Insurance Exchange.” This would be a government-run marketing organization that would sell insurance plans directly to those who did not have an employer plan or public coverage.
•An employer “pay or play” provision that would require an employer to either provide health insurance or contribute toward the cost of a public plan.
•Mandating that families cover all children through either a private or public health insurance plan.
•Expanding eligibility for government programs, like Medicaid and SCHIP.
•Allow flexibility in embracing state health reform initiatives.

This Democratic proposal is all about access—getting just about everyone covered. Getting everyone into this unsustainable system will then make things even more unsustainable creating an imperative for a second wave of real cost containment when the feel good list of cost containment proposals now in their plans falls short. My sense is that most Democratic health policy experts already know this but see no other political alternative.

If this thing passes, get ready for some new terms: Cost containment (limiting medical practices; required medical coverage for your kids;

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