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Thread: Health savings? No one knows

  1. #1
    RightinNYC's Avatar
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    Health savings? No one knows

    Health savings? No one knows - Print View

    Barack Obama ran for president on a promise of saving the typical family $2,500 a year in lower health care premiums.

    But that was then.

    No one in the White House is making such a pledge now.

    It’s one of the most basic, kitchen-table questions of the entire reform debate: Would the sweeping $900 billion overhaul actually lower spiraling insurance premiums for everyone?

    No one really knows.

    And in fact, for all the ink spilled on the effects of health care reform, no independent group has taken a comprehensive look at how the legislation would impact premiums for the 170 million Americans who receive insurance through their employers – a population that would receive little direct financial assistance under the various congressional proposals.

    For small businesses and individuals who purchase their own plans, economists remain sharply divided over the impact on premiums.
    Obama was the one who raised expectations of lower premiums. From one city to the next, and during the presidential debates, Obama made the pledge almost as often as he vowed to remove troops from Iraq: “We estimate we can cut the average family’s premium by about $2,500 per year.”

    He has barely uttered it since taking office. The last recorded mention by Obama was in May, when he announced that six health industry groups agreed to lower the growth rate in health care spending by $2 trillion over 10 years, resulting in a savings of $2,500 per family “in the coming years.”

    Campaign advisers sought to make Obama’s plan tangible to voters. But the $2,500 estimate was controversial, even among progressive health care economists. First, the figure represented not simply a family’s share of premiums, but also savings that would accrue for employers, Medicare and Medicaid. Second, experts did not expect the savings to materialize for many years.

    David Cutler, a Harvard University economist who helped develop the estimate for the Obama campaign, said the savings are still achievable, but perhaps not for a decade. It depends almost entirely on whether Congress is strict about reducing the growth rate of health care spending in Medicare and Medicaid – and the private sector follows the government’s lead in wringing inefficiencies and waste out of the system.

    “Far and away, what happens to premiums is dependent on whether you can bend the cost curve,” Cutler said.

    And there are questions as to whether the bills even meet that goal.

    Gruber, the favorite economist of the White House, said the bill “really doesn’t bend the cost curve.”
    Much of this is in line with what David Leonhardt wrote yesterday on this same topic, though he came at it from a different angle.

    It's becoming increasingly clear that the eventual bill that will be passed will have little to do with health care reform and everything to do with health insurance reform. In the end, I'd be surprised if it's much more than an expansion of Medicaid, an increase in subsidies to the poor, and some minor revisions to insurance regulations.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

  2. #2
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    12-28-09 @ 05:07 PM

    Re: Health savings? No one knows

    That's campaign promises for you.

  3. #3

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    05-16-15 @ 12:32 PM

    Re: Health savings? No one knows

    on july 17 (one of the few worst days of the obama presidency, the first time most americans ever heard of mike ross, also the day the blue governors came out and attacked phil bredesen's "mother of unfunded mandates") cbo's elmendorf testified in the gateway, senate finance---under questioning by kent conrad---that the trajectory of the cost curve, motivational underpinning of reform, rather than bending downwards as promised and necessary instead under baucus sharply steepened up

    Texas Insider Lawmakers Warned About Health Costs

    never forget that obama's foundational premise for enacting reform in the first place has always been economic and not social

    we could not afford to do nothing, he told us a thousand times

    additionally, the centerpiece of obama's campaign was his endlessly repeated pledge that he would not raise taxes on anyone making less than 200G

    tell that to the young folks about to be fined for breathing without insurance

    unbelievably, obama said this week in an interview with abc that, when it comes to jailing those who don't pay their fines, punishments are appropriate

    when pressed specifically about prison time, he dodged, saying it was not "the biggest question" he was facing

    anyone in handcuffs almost surely hotly disagrees

    whether or not it's a big question to the ditherer in chief, such almost unamerican punitives are contained boldly in plan pelosi

    indeed, yesterday, armistice day, the palsied speakeress said specifically, "the legislation is very fair in this respect"

    RealClearPolitics - Video - Pelosi On Jail Time For No Health Care: "The Legislation Is Very Fair In This Respect"

    obama also misrepresents when it comes to deficit neutrality, his done-to-death mantra promising his obamacare will not raise the debt "a dime"

    a trillion trillion dimes, more like it

    because his imaginary cuts to m and m aint never gonna happen

    and he knows it

    his declarations that he can pay for 2/3 of his jovian ambitions by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in those systems are an insult to the sainted memory of chappaquiddick ted

    so, in sum, we can add to obama's growing list of broken promises---closing gitmo, bringing troops home from baghdad, ending rendition and detention, reversing the patriot act, ending don't ask don't tell, personal diplomacy with iran...

    we can grow that long list now by including---deficit neutrality under health care, taxing the middle class, and reversing the trajectory of the cost curve


    of course, health care aint goin nowhere anyhow

    stiff necked nelson, about an hour after bill clinton's cynical sales pitch (bubba spoke out in favor of the trigger, whereas reid has selected the opt out) joined jiltin joe's promise to filibuster

    what part of 42 can't this leadership understand?
    Last edited by The Prof; 11-12-09 at 05:17 AM.

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