Wednesday, May 13, 2009


After much talk about how now is the time for health care reform, the first announcement regarding this long awaited and necessary change came when President Obama announced that the health care industry has voluntarily agreed to reduce increases in health care costs by 1.5% a year for the next ten years so that instead of costs continuing to rise by 6% a year they will now only rise by 4.5% a year.

To coin a phrase, this is not what we've been waiting for.

Obama trumpeted that it will save $2 trillion over the next ten years. What is bothersome is that the annoucement was made with the CEO's of the major health insurance companies standing behind him, and it would only save $2 trillion over the next 10 years if nothing else changes.

This gives every indication that Obama is not serious about universal health care which is the only thing that represents real health care reform.

The 1.5% decrease in increases is about as genuine as the Ovaltine commerical disgused as a secret message from Little Orphan Annie in A Christmas Story.

If the dramatic overhaul that's been promised comes about and universal health care becomes a reality, that $2 trillion in savings as a result of a decrease in increases in costs will be to the benefit of the health industry, the big business entities like insurance companies who are the real culprits in the outrageous cost of health care.

A decrease in increases is just the kind of Washinton double speak that Obama promised to change but when push comes to shove he is as guilty of an any garden variety politician.

Again, it signals that Obama may not be serious about real universal health care because if he was, a voluntary 1.5% cut in increases wouldn't and shouldn't matter to patients who,under universal health care wouldnt have to worry about costs.

Obama said that this is only the opening salvo in health care reform. But it's hardly a salvo. It;s not even a bb shot. And unless there is a real change in direction and philosophy, the idea of universal health care is going to be memory just like Ovaltine.


sue said...

Of course there is double speak coming from Obama's mouth- that is how one with a forked tongue speaks.

Obama lacks conviction and passion about health care- as far as I can see- he has never studied it, never worked on any policy to change it or expand coverage- I am pretty certain that he really doesn't have a vision for what the American system of health care should look like- which is why he happily let the insurance companies, the physician groups, the hospital groups and the pharmaceutical groups pledge the 1.5% reduction in increases (is that an oxymoron???) And this is what Obama coined " a watershed moment"???

As usual, Obama is completely satisfied to let someone else do the work- he will wait to see if it is successful to take the credit or if it fails he can deflect the blame from himself- classic Obama

Anonymous said...

Time to update your post, Marc. It seems that, as of today, industry officials are denying that they ever agreed to reduce costs in the amount Obama proclaimed the other day. This whole thing is such a farce.

Try to keep in mind that Obama has never been interested in universal health *care*; he's only ever been interested in universal health *coverage*. In other words, as with everything else he puts his mind to, he just wants the problem to go away.