I am 25 years old, I am healthy, I excercise often, I eat a balanced diet, I am type 1 diabetic. If I wanted to take the leap of faith and open my own practice, I’d drown in health care bills.
NOT one single insurance company would take a second look at accepting me becuase I am diabetic. Injustice is the word that comes to mind.
Today’s post covers the long-winded health care debate.
Obama moves to retake health care debate
President Obama’s decision to address Congress doesn’t mean he’s scaling back his effort to help the 46 million people without health insurance or to protect others from rising costs, said experts tied to the Clinton and Obama efforts.
WASHINGTON — President Obama’s decision to speak to Congress and the nation on health care next week raises the stakes after a month of contentious town-hall meetings and falling public support.
The address Wednesday to a joint session of Congress comes as advocates and opponents of Obama’s top objective say he must take charge if he wants to succeed where Bill Clinton failed in 1994.
Only twice in the past 16 years has a president addressed Congress on a single topic, Senate records show: Clinton in 1993 on his health care plan and George W. Bush after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
“This obviously is a make or break moment,” said Robert Reischauer, president of the non-partisan Urban Institute. “It’s time for him to stand up and say, ‘There are no easy answers, and these are the choices I want you to make.’ “
Republicans said the choice must be to “hit the reset button,” in the words of House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, after polls in August showed a drop in support for both the president and his plan.
“I don’t think the problem is messaging. The problem is with what he’s trying to sell,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “There’s a serious blowback and negative reaction.”
Obama’s decision to address Congress doesn’t mean he’s scaling back his effort to help the 46 million people without health insurance or to protect others from rising costs, said experts tied to the Clinton and Obama efforts.
“Yes, he’s resetting the messaging,” former Clinton adviser Chris Jennings said. “But it is not a moment of crisis. It is a moment of recalibration.”
As he enters what senior adviser David Axelrod calls the “eighth or ninth inning” of the debate, Obama is caught between liberals who want to revamp the insurance market with a government-funded “public option” and moderates who favor an incremental approach.
Both efforts have stumbled. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the public option wasn’t essential. Six senators seeking a compromise ran into trouble after one, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, urged his donors to defeat “Obama-care.”
August ended with the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., a consummate dealmaker whose brain cancer limited his role on what he called “the political cause of my life.”
Said moderate Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb.: “It probably is time for the White House to give direction.”
Obama’s stance on issues in health care bills — Major issues involved and where Obama stands.
A government-backed insurance plan could be created to compete with private insurers. If so, it would be similar to Medicare or a privately operated cooperative. A public option is included in the House bill and one Senate version of the legislation.
What Obama has said: “If we have a public option in there, that can help keep insurers honest. It can provide a benchmark for what an affordable, basic plan should look like.” — Aug. 20
A sound mix is an intricate and expensive proposition, nearly $1,000 an hour, 10 hours a day, for days and weeks on end. On this day, we were mixing together all the various sounds we had collected for that horrible moment at Ford’s Theater, when an assassin’s bullet would take from us our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln.
Both bills pending in the House and Senate include a requirement that individuals purchase health insurance, just as states require people to buy car insurance. The bills also would require most companies to offer health insurance to employees or pay a fine.
What Obama has said: “If you refuse to provide any health insurance for your employees at all, then we are going to ask you to make a contribution to help make sure those employees have health insurance.” — Aug. 15
HELP FOR UNINSURED
Subsidies to help low-income people purchase health insurance are included in the Senate and House bills. The House bill, for example, would offer subsidies for individuals making less than $43,320 a year and families of four earning less than $88,200 a year.
What Obama has said: “What we want to do is to give them a menu of options that they can choose from, and then a little bit of help in terms of making their premiums more affordable.” — Aug. 20
In House and Senate bills, insurers would be prohibited from denying coverage to patients because of pre-existing conditions, or dropping patients once they get sick. The bills also would stop insurance companies from imposing annual and lifetime caps on how much they pay out.
What Obama has said: “We’re putting in place a whole bunch of insurance reforms that regulate the behavior of insurance companies. … You should be able to keep your health insurance if you get sick or you lose your job or you change jobs.” — Aug. 20
Both bills would create pilot programs to study medical treatments to pinpoint the most cost-effective care. Savings also could come from prevention and wellness programs and expanded electronic record-keeping by doctors and hospitals, Obama has said.
What Obama has said: “Because of the cost-savings measures that we’re putting in place — for example, making sure that prevention and wellness is covered — we’re actually going to reduce the costs of health care overall over the long term.” — Aug. 20
HOW TO FUND IT
Obama has said Medicare savings would be found by eliminating waste and cutting payments to a program that lets seniors buy coverage from private insurers. The House bill imposes new taxes targeted at high earners. Senators are considering a tax on expensive insurance plans.
What Obama has said: “What I’ve proposed was that we would pay for it by having people over $250,000 a year have their itemized deductions go to the same rate as everybody else’s — 28%.” — Aug. 20