Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hooray for Obama (Almost)

Despite the many ridiculous things Obama has done in the past year, he does something right every so often. While it may just be motivated by politics, his recent letter to congress about health care reform is a step in the right direction. This article by the Huffington Post explains

"[H]e called for four distinct Republican proposals to be considered in the final package:

1. Engaging "medical professionals to conduct random undercover investigations of health care providers that receive reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid, and other Federal programs."

2. An additional $50 million in funding to states "for demonstrations of alternatives to resolving medical malpractice disputes, including health courts."

3. Additional funds for Medicaid reimbursements to doctors to correct the problem that those reimbursements are currently "inadequate in many states."

4. An expansion of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)."

If congress takes these changes seriously, I think we would have a good bill on our hands that I would be excited to see pass. Let's hope congress can make it work.

Unfortunately, I assume that reconciliation will have to fail first because these seem like big changes and congress may not go for them unless they have to.

I had to add the "almost" because I just realized that the senate bill does not have the prohibition on abortion funding. But I think we can still celebrate because (unless pro-life democrats change their minds) a bill without this limitation can't even garner enough democratic support in the house.


Greta said...

Of course the USCCB is still strongly opposed to any of the bills now being considered. They are still supporting abortion using federal funds.

Anonymous said...

Greta, Matt notes that the bill doesn't contain a prohibition against of the use of federal funding for abortion in his post already. Of course, the USCCB are hardly sticklers for objecting to money being used for abortion anyway (e.g., the CCHD).

Daniel said...


I'm a little confused. A revised healthcare bill which includes MORE spending makes the bill a good one? I hope your comments were sarcastic.

The reality of this "concession" is that Obama gets to pretend to be bi-partisan while he gets to add even more programs, more complexity, more spending, on top of an already out of control bill.

As Boehner put it, you can't sprinkle a few republican ideas on top of a tax and spend overhaul of 1/6 of the economy and call it "bi-partisan." This bill is rotten to the core.


Anonymous said...

Obama's health care reform bill now in Congress should be retitled: "The Lawyers Full Employment Act of 2009." It will take a decade or more to figure out the legal ramifications of this piece of more government than health care legislation. It will keep lawyers employed and court dockets full for sometime if passed into law. So much for lowering health care cost.

Danny L. McDaniel
Lafayette, Indiana

Matthew said...

Spending isn't bad. Bad spending is what we should be worried about. Efforts at tort reform and promoting health savings accounts would both be excellent parts of real reform.

None of Obama's four points could have been sprinkled onto the current bill because they are too significant to sneak through reconciliation. My hope, which is now lost, was that reconciliation would have failed and a new bill would have been crafted with these measures. But, now we'll just have to see how things play out.