Thomas R. Eddlem
The Obama administration's own financial experts have estimated that the recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will increase — rather than cut — overall medical expenses. During presidential campaign, Obama had sold his healthcare reform package as (in the words of his campaign website) providing "lower costs to make our health care system work for people and businesses." But that's not the healthcare package Obama delivered as President.
The push for President Obama's agenda to promote healthcare “reform” is being secretly underwritten by taxpayer dollars. MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, described by the Washington Post's Ezra Klein as “probably been the most aggressive academic economist supporting the reform effort,” has been on the U.S. Health and Human Services Department payroll to the tune of $392,600 over the past year.
The New York Times documented that several "progressive" states that have expanded healthcare coverage on their own are not setting up to oppose the Senate version of the healthcare package. The December 27 story noted that the Senate package, passed on Christmas Eve, would force states struggling to balance their budgets to subsidize the expansion of health care coverage in other states that had not expanded health care coverage by state mandates.
A major healthcare study by Thomson-Reuters has concluded that the United States wastes between $600 billion and $850 billion on healthcare annually, a third of all healthcare costs. Perhaps more importantly, the study essentially concluded that President Obama is looking in the wrong directions for eliminating major sources of waste in his reform efforts.
President Obama used his weekly radio address this weekend to attack two health insurance industry-funded studies that concluded the President's healthcare proposal pending in Congress would increase overall medical costs for individual policyholders by thousands of dollars per year.
The U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted to send a health care “reform” bill to the full Senate by a 14-9 vote October 13. President Obama said the vote was a “critical milestone,” but admitted that he was not assured of the bill's passage. "Now is not the time to pat ourselves on the back," Obama said, urging supporters to "dig in and work even harder to get this done."
Senator Max Baucus introduced the first “deficit neutral” healthcare legislation on September 16, but the bill would increase most people's healthcare premiums and still “break the federal budget” — if you believe President Obama's July 22 prime time address to the American people. Back then, Obama stated: “We also know that with health care inflation on the curve that it's on we are guaranteed to see Medicare and Medicaid basically break the federal budget.”
President Obama proved he had nothing new in his political bag of tricks in his healthcare address to Congress on September 9. The most important part of the speech was not that he was retailing the same two specific examples of insurance mendacity he had been using for months, but that he revealed no new means of paying for the budget-busting program.
President Obama's HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius let out a significant trial balloon on CNN's State of the Union, indicating that the Obama administration may drop the “public option” proposal from its healthcare “reform” package.