Power of Story
Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (1 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   No comments
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Lines In The Sand: A Big Week For Health Reform

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Brad Wright     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Interesting 1   Inspiring 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 9/9/09

- Advertisement -
Coming back from the long Labor Day weekend, health reform has not taken a vacation. Indeed, the August recess is now officially over, and no one--least of all Sen. Max Baucus or President Obama--is taking their time to get the ball rolling again.

Multiple sources
reported on Monday that Baucus has finally drafted a reform plan in the Senate Finance Committee. By putting something down on paper, Baucus has drawn the first line in the sand, and his less than cooperative colleagues Sens. Grassley and Enzi will finally face an ultimatum on Tuesday: Work to find a compromise around the plan, or walk away from talks completely.

I haven't seen a draft (if you happen to have an electronic copy, I'd love for you to share), but these are the basics:
  • The $900 billion plan is budget neutral
  • Raises funds by levying fees on private insurers
  • No public option
  • Health insurance co-operatives
  • Health insurance exchange to increase transparency for consumers
  • Subsidies and benefits less generous (up to 300% FPL) than House bill
  • Expansion of Medicaid eligibility to 133% of FPL
  • No pre-existing condition exclusions or dropping coverage for illness
  • Shift in provider reimbursement from focus on quantity to quality

- Advertisement -

Meanwhile, as I reported last week, President Obama is getting ready to show his hand on Wednesday night. That's this week's other line in the sand. There's a great deal of speculation swirling around about just what the President will have to say. Will he insist on a public option or will he support something less than that (e.g., co-ops, or the trigger option)? What other specifics is he likely to nail down?

- Advertisement -

The White House has been so aloof during most of the debate thus far, that it's fairly hard to be certain one way or another. Perhaps that was intentional. Let Congress come up with it's several versions of reform, and let the August town halls serve as the ultimate "idea floater" -- find out how the public feels about various pieces of reform before committing to a specific approach. The problem is, there wasn't ever a rational debate on the issues. So I'm not sure how much the President and his health care team were able to surmise.

Either way, it's uncertain just how meaningful any line drawn in the sand really is. After all, Robert Gibbs suggests that it is highly unlikely that Obama will threaten use of the veto during his address to Congress. All that's certain is this: Obama is increasingly betting it all on the issue of health reform. I can't imagine that he'd make such a poorly calculated political move as to risk defining his presidency as a failure. And so, I continue to hold onto the hope that when the President shows his cards to the nation Wednesday night, should his hand be less than stellar, he may secretly have an ace in the hole.
- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Interesting 1   Inspiring 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

http://www.healthpolicyanalysis.com
Brad Wright is a doctoral student in health policy and management at the University of North Carolina.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Death Panels Are Real

Lines In The Sand: A Big Week For Health Reform