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July 16, 2009

Checkmate? AMA Endorses
Bipartisan Deal Close?!?

CBO Chief: Obama's Cost-Saving Health Care Reforms Will, Um, Increase Costs
Update: Bill Would Outlaw Private Insurance?

Bumped and updated -- the AMA (at least the trustees, who I assume have the right to speak for the organization) endorse the Rangel/Obama bill.

Thanks to AHFF Geoff.

...

Above-the-main-post udpate:

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus(D-Mont.) said Thursday that he hopes to have a bipartisan deal on a health care reform bill by the end of the day.

..

“We are meeting very aggressively today,” Baucus said of the bipartisan group, which plans to meet again at 1:30 p.m. “We will keep meeting all day long. I hope we can reach some kind of agreement by the end of the day, but having said that, it depends on what kind it is.”

...


Gotta spend to save spend.

The health care overhauls released to date would increase, not reduce, the burgeoning long-term health costs facing the government, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf said Thursday.

That is not a message likely to sit well with congressional Democrats or the Obama administration, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., said Thursday she thinks lawmakers can find ways to wring more costs out of the health system as they continue work on their bills.

The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Democrat Max Baucus of Montana, who has not yet released a bill, said his panel is acutely aware of the long-term cost concern. “Clearly our committee will do what it can,” he said. “We are very seriously concerned about that issue. We very much want to come up with a bill that bends the cost curve.”

But Baucus suggested the White House is making the task difficult with opposition to one cost-cutting approach Elmendorf cited — limiting or even ending the tax exclusion for employer-provided health benefits.

The Democrats and President Obama have cited two goals in their overhaul proposals — expanding coverage to the estimated 47 million Americans who currently lack it and bringing down long-term costs because the growth in Medicare and Medicaid spending threatens to swamp the federal budget in coming years.

Under questioning from Chairman Kent Conrad , D-N.D., Elmendorf told the Senate Budget Committee that the congressional proposals released so far do not meet that second test.

“In the legislation that has been reported, we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount and, on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs,” he said.

...

[B]udget analysts and some members fear the legislation will not slow the growth of health care spending enough to prevent it from overwhelming the federal budget after that 10-year window.

"Overwhelming" the federal budget, which already has a built-in $1 trillion+ yearly deficit.

That is like being bitten by a shark when you're already fighting off tigers.

Thanks to AHFF Geoff.

Update: It does appear that ObamaCare will outlaw private insurance -- those who have insurance now will be grandfathered, but only if they keep their current insurance. No new enrollments in private insurance will be permitted after he takeover.

Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:

"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.

So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.

Meanwhile "ethicist" Peter Singer argues passionately for the dire need of health-care rationing.


You Can Buy Private Insurance? At Instapundit, a reader says that you can continue buying private insurance, but you have to buy it through the "Exchange" (or something), which supposedly is some benefit to you.

If it's a benefit why does it need to be mandated?

That's like passing a law requiring people to nap during golf coverage.






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