Wouldn’t a not-for-profit system work better, at least with respect to hospitals?
Anyone wondering how the health insurance companies have been increasing their profits at such a rapid rate should read this recent article from BusinessWeek. It appears that large health insurers completely dominate the market in many states.
Ezra Klein makes a similar point in the Washington Post.
We have a system that is not sustainable. This isn’t capitalism – instead we have several large insurance companies practically stealing money from American taxpayers.
Right now, President Obama is trying hard to get a bill with the help of all the major players, including the insurance companies. Therefore we’ve seen him go after costs and premiums, but he has not taken on the insurance companies in a direct manner.
If the current effort at reform fails or stalls, expect to see a full-throttled attack against these companies that informs the American people just how much money they are making and the tactics they are using to deny coverage to pad profits.
Tags: AMA, American Medical Assn, bending the curve on health care, commercial health-insurance landscape, competition for health insurers, health care costs, health care reform, health insurance, health insurance companies, health insurance reform, health insurers, insurance industry, Obama, Obama health care plan
Paul Krugman has been tough on Barack Obama at times, but he’s behind him on health care. Today he mocks the media for focusing on everything but the actual policy issues.
Of course, the policy issues are too boring for our brain-dead media when compared to all the drama surrounding the process.
Krugman also focused on one of the most important policy developments over the past several days.
MedPAC was originally created by Republicans to look for ways to cut costs in Medicare and Medicaid, so you would think they would be openly in favor of this development of giving this panel real power, but most Republicans are too busy trying to kill the reform effort.
Barack Obama has always excelled when it was time to give a big speech, and he delivered again tonight. He explained the crisis we face, along with his plans to address it. Some of mentioned that Obama needed to offer some hope, and that of course was an easy task for Obama.
But, he took things much further. he laid down the gauntlet on his agenda. He made it clear that he was committed to addressing energy, health care and education – this year!
One of the interesting details was his reference to finding $2 trillion of spending cuts over the next 10 years that he wants to cut. He mentioned farm subsidies for large agri-business and “cold-war” weapons systems as necessary cuts. The political fights here will be significant, but he made it clear he was willing to make serious cuts.
I’m listening to Obama’s remarks as he closes his Fiscal Responsibility Summit, and it’s rather stunning to see an interactive session that includes the President, and other leaders of our government like John McCain and Steny Hoyer. It was particularly interesting to hear John McCain speak and be supportive of the Obama Administration’s goal to get control of the military procurement process.
When looking at the list of attendees, it seems clear that Obama is serious about his goal to address the serious fiscal issues facing this nation. We are wasting billions of dollars with an inefficient health care system and wasteful weapons programs.
There seems to be some consensus on the potential of cutting corporate tax rates in exchange for closing loopholes.
Coupled with Obama’s aggressive, and honest, budget proposal, this might help generate some serious momentum for fiscal discipline.
Tags: Barack Obama, bi-partisanship, closing tax loopholes, cutting corporate tax rates, cutting defense spending, defense spending, fiscal discipline, Fiscal Responsibility Summit, health care costs, health care reform, inefficient health care system, John McCain, military procurement process, military spending, Obama administration, Obama budget proposal, Social Security, Steny Hoyer, tax reform, wasteful weapons programs