Once upon a time, President Barack Obama and many others who championed his health care plan actually professed faith in the power of a functioning health care marketplace. That now seems like a distant memory.
Last week, the president said the country has serious issues to address. He’s right. One of the biggest is the budget challenge. Unfortunately, the president’s carefully orchestrated attack on the Ryan plan has made it much less likely that real progress will be made before 2013 to address the problem.
Having spent so much political capital on the health law’s passage, one might expect it to feature prominently in the president’s planned reelection campaign. But it will likely turn out to be the law’s opponents who are more likely to talk about it.
The president chose to submit a profoundly unserious budget. There’s no entitlement reform to close the long-term fiscal gap. There’s no tax reform. There are some minor cuts to marginal programs for show. But, overall, it’s very much a business-as-usual budget, with a few new and expensive long-term commitments thrown in for good measure. It’s like the president and his team woke up after the mid-term election with a bad case of political amnesia.
Pursuing health reforms that transform current health insurance arrangements into aproaches based on defined contributions will set in motion a competitive dynamic from which all Americans would benefit.
It is essential that political leaders come together in a bipartisan fashion to put our government’s finances on more stable footing. But that won’t be done if the nation’s approach to health care is supported by only one of the two major political parties.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wis., took the courageous step of going first with a bold plan — his Roadmap — to fundamentally restructure the tax and entitlement policies that threaten to push the federal budget past the breaking point. Now others, even some from the other side of the aisle, are joining him in sponsoring similar plans.
It is no doubt useful politically for the administration to set up the private health insurance industry as its foil in this struggle. Many Americans have low regard for insurance companies. But this is largely a diversionary tactic on the part of [HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius].
Critics say Medicare Advantage plans are inefficient and costly. But those same critics oppose vouchers for Medicare — even though that approach would set up a direct competition between the private plans and the traditional fee-for-service program.
The Congressional Budget Office’s latest projections again make it clear that the nation is rushing headlong toward a fiscal crisis, and the health law does nothing to head it off.
Despite the relentless sales pitch, there was always a lot of skepticism among voters that such a government-heavy plan would leave them alone and be cost-free. Now, of course, their skepticism is being validated.
A new commission created by the health law is supposed to ensure that in 2015, Medicare spending is supposed to be limited to a fixed growth rate.
Now that the year-long debate in Congress over health care legislation has come to a close, it’s reasonable to ask: What’s next? Some think that enactment will quickly lead to widespread and generally quiet acquiescence to the terms of the new law, even by those who were strongly against its passage by Congress. Perhaps. But […]
One of the central arguments President Barack Obama has made on behalf of the health care plan he wants Congress to approve in coming weeks is that it would begin to address the problem of rising costs and thus also begin to bring down future federal budget deficits. But will it?
It’s not that President Obama and his advisors don’t recognize their budget problem. They speak frequently about the dangers of business as usual. The problem is that the president’s stated solution will never work.
Even if all of the offsets work out as planned, which is not likely, the House and Senate bills would still create substantial budgetary risks because of the pressures for entitlement expansion they would unleash.
To get a sense of who’s right on cost-control, some perspective is necessary.
If the president and his aides continue to signal that House bill is acceptable, they will never be able to deliver the real reform the president has promised.
Pursuing sensible change requires a clear understanding of what’s driving the status quo.
There’s no doubt the administration’s new health reform sales pitch works much better in focus groups. But does it really describe what’s under consideration in Congress?