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Monday, February 22, 2010

Confused by Obama's Re-Package of health care bill

First, Obama promised to bridge the gap of coopertation b/w Republicans and Democrats, but instead of compromise, and instead of coming up with his own plan (which I've said before he should have done from the beginning - it's called leadership) he decided to tweak the existing Senate bill and, in a completely stupefying move, INCREASED the cost of the bill by $200 billion - with the overall price tag in excess of $1 trillion.

Given that the public and most Republicans' beef with the House and Senate bills were largely their price tag and bloat, one would have thought that Obama might have been willing to compromise on the cost.

He has consistently said that any healthcare reform must be built around lowering costs, improving quality and coverage, and protecting consumer choices. He could have done all three simply by creating a government regulated private exchange and allowing trade of plans across State-lines, promoting HSA's, and focusing on reducing the driver's of costs (like by pigou taxing fatty foods etc.) as opposed to easing the symptoms (via large entitlements and subsidies). Would that have covered everyone or reduced costs by as much as possible? Perhaps not. But it would have satisfied all his conditions at minimal cost to the government (taxpayers).

This was Obama's (second) opportunity to show leadership on health care, and he failed, again.

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