“Yes We Can” Posts Health Plan As Promised To “The Party of No”

This whole healthcare debate has been the theater of the absurd and while Americans suffer and 3 million more have lost their healthcare no progress has been made.

The Repubs have been MIA other than their constant whining and lack of any real ideas. That is a fact. So their whining got them here and now they need to step up and like leaders and not the clowns that all of America thinks Congress is tight now.

So Boehner et al wanted transparency and now they have it. A published 11 page document 3 days before the televised summit. No secrets, no closed doors.

Any American who wants to can watch the debate live and easily digest this 11 page overview . Even “Dr. No” Boehner can read this one since he can digest it in one tanning session.

Per his promise to the “party of No” at the summit they invited him to in Baltimore, President Obama has published his suggested outline for a healthcare reform bill 3 days before the White House Healthcare Summit.

Some of the highlights are below and are very sensible:

  • It removes the $100 million in Medicaid funding that Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) had secured for his home state of Nebraska — funding that, after intense criticism, even Nelson now wants removed.
  • It adopts the House’s more generous measures to help individuals purchase insurance, and adopts the Senate’s approach when it comes to penalizing individuals who don’t buy insurance — basing the penalty on flat dollar assessments rather than a percentage of income, and including a “hardship” exemption for families who simply cannot pay the fine.
  • It closes the Medicare prescription drug “donut hole” coverage gap by 2010 — choosing the House’s language rather than the Senate’s (which would provide a 50 percent discount for only certain drugs in the hole). How this conforms to the deal that the White House cut with the pharmaceutical industry at the beginning of the health care reform process is uncle
  • It adopts the Senate’s model for health insurance exchanges (virtual marketplaces for consumers to compare and buy coverage) making them state-based as opposed to national. One plugged-in activist told the Huffington Post that this could be because it would be impossible to pass national exchanges into law using the Senate’s simple-majority reconciliation process.
  • It adopts the Senate’s abortion provisions, which are more moderate than the aggressively anti-choice measures adopted in the House.
  • It uses the Senate’s revenue provisions, though it goes a long way toward pacifying those concerned about the so-called “Cadillac tax”. The threshold at which health care plans would be hit by that tax would be raised from $23,000 for a family plan to $27,500. And the provisions would not kick in at all until 2018.
  • It includes a new wrinkle: establishing a national health insurance authority that would help states combat insurers that institute unreasonable premium increases. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced this same proposal last week.
  • Finally, despite a late-stage push for the White House to include a public option for insurance coverage in the final bill, the president’s proposal does not include any element of government-run insurance.

Take the time to read and reflect on the details and we will poll you later this week on the subject.

Whether you like the bill or not we can all hope that this will create a discussion that can ultimately lead to some appropriate action but I doubt it will….

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10 Comments on ““Yes We Can” Posts Health Plan As Promised To “The Party of No””

  1. LOUDelf Says:

    “So Boehner et al wanted transparency and now they have it. ”

    It only took the administration a year to do this…

    Maybe they should try some other line of BS for the public to chew on.

  2. I continue to be dismayed that none of the proposals are addressing the issues of behavior in any meaningful way… The AMA estimates that 75% of our country’s current medical spend is tied to lifestyle and behavioral factors. I’m a huge proponent of universal coverage, but I think insurers need to be able to rate for risk, just the way we do in auto insurance. Without it, the young and healthy will continue to opt out of the system in droves because their premiums subsidize the unhealthy and older to an unsustainable degree. Also, until Americans have a compelling reason to live healthfully, we will continue our societally-ingrained habits of sitting on the couch and eating too many cheeseburgers.

  3. CNay Says:

    This plan adds a new bureaucracy and the associated costs. Also it increases coverages — another cost multiplier. It does not address the cost of healthcare. It does not address price transparency (so informed consumers can evaluate providers)and it doesn’t address the under-supply of providers. The law of supply and demand can not be abolished by congress. In other words the “yes we can” proposal at best does nothing and at worst bankrupts the country. Obviously the author is a member of that party.

    • John Nail Says:

      Thanks to all so far for the comments. My post was titled to get a response and it has which is crucial to debate and ideas.

      If you note the tenor of my post it is about ideas vs. “No” ideas and no actions. I do not like alot about this bill but I like even less the BS being played by the R’s. I wish they would truly respond to this outline with fresh ideas and not just tax cuts. These created our huge deficit in the 2000-08 period and have made healthcare reform easier.

      I agree wholeheartedly that we need to address the root issues here of costs et al but we need to start somewhere and if we go nowhere this time then we all deserve the national bankruptcy that awaits with business as usual.

      So what is your answer? No just doesn’t cut it.

      I do understand the argument of increased coverages. Do you mean pre-ex? Or recission? Or unfettered price control based on inefficient healthplans and overpaid CEO’s?

      FYI – I was a “Reagan Republican” voting 7 straight elections for the “R”‘s until 2008 when I got fed up with the lies, financial lack of responsibility and the intolerance of a party out of touch that could only call people names. As an Independent now I do support Obama and his efforts to try and get something done to fix the total mess he was handed.

      • CNay Says:

        The answer isn’t to just go along with trying to increase coverage — and cost — while ignoring the root problems. The root problems are where we need to start. That isn’t just a “no”. It is my answer. The mess we were all handed can all be traced back to federal and state regulations. Government can’t run any business. When Medicare was introduced is was to cover people >65. At that time a male life expectancy was 68. They haven’t updated anything — as government does. Now we have an unfunded liability of $38 TRILLION. And you want to add to that without addressing the root problems??? Come on WAKE UP!

      • John Nail Says:

        What is your solution then? We will guest post it if you want to write it..

  4. JR Says:

    I am so glad to see that the emphasis is still on getting a bill passed and nothing to do with improving the healthcare situation. Let’s shove something down the throats of Americans so that we can say we took care of the healthcare issue. Kennedy said we would put a man on the moon in this decade and then he and congress got out of the way and let the experts do it – and do it right. This administration should do the same thing.

    • This is just one of a multitude of examples where politics is trumping governance. How did our political system get so out of whack? The two parties are so concerned with their own self-perpetuation and jockeying for position that they have completely lost sight of the reason they are in Washington in the first place: to serve the people and do what is in the best interests of the country as a whole. Perhaps a viable third party will start to emerge: not the “tea party”, but a true centrist party that is committed to governing from the middle, which is where the vast majority of Americans stand politically.

  5. First off, the congress needs to stop sacrificing governance on the alter of politics. We need more and should demand better of them than the current petty gamesmanship that’s occurring.

    The problem is so multifaceted. I think on top of all the items that we’ve already read about in the debate, there are two items that need to be added into the discussion:

    1. We need to find a way to tie health care and wealth care together: the goal here is to incent those who do not have health conditions to maintain their health because it is in both their physical and financial self-interest to do so – and for them to understand how the two link together. This could be through high-deductible plans with out-of-pocket maximums; through risk-rating based on both age and health; and through subsidies for low-income earners.

    2. We need to overhaul the way we train doctors. The current method is extremely wasteful. It costs a fortune for someone to go through med school, which leads to a steering into specialties because there is much more money there than in primary care. Right now, students go through med school and their rotations, learning how to treat pretty much everything. I primary care doctor does not need to know how to operate on a brain aneurism, and an orthopedic surgeon does not need to know anything about neonatology. If we rethink how we train doctors we can pull the costs of doing so way down and end up with a more viable medical system

  6. mickey Says:

    Just another huge government takeover into an area where they do not belong. When the dust settles, the tax increases will be too much for the economy to handle. Maybe you should write about the tax increases and the loss of our freedom that goes along with this bill, instead of criticising the politicians that saw this power grab for what it is.

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