Monday, February 22, 2010

Obama Finally Makes A Move

      President Obama has finally presented a healthcare plan that he would like to see enacted. It’s about time – if he had done this months ago we would have a plan by this time.
      Instead he has been leaving it up to Congress to develop a plan. That’s about as likely to happen as finding a herd of cats forming a straight line. So much for leadership. Anyway, as of February 22nd he has finally decided to take the reins.
      His plan makes a few changes to the Senate plan which was passed a few weeks ago. It would cover 31 million presently uninsured people.
      Almost everyone would need to either have insurance or pay a fine. Exceptions to the fine would be available for certain low income people; they would receive generous subsidies to help them buy insurance.
      Certain reforms would be mandated for the insurance industry, e.g., no one could be excluded because of prior medical conditions, and the government could step in to block unfair rate hikes.
      The “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescriptions would be closed, and the tax on high-cost plans would be delayed until 2018.
      Small businesses, the self-employed and the uninsured could pick a plan offered through new state-based purchasing pools called exchanges. The public option is gone, as are some of the special deals the Senate had allowed to certain of its members in order to get their approval.
      The issue of abortion is left open in the President’s plan. Suffice it to say that neither pro-life nor pro-choice advocates will be happy with the language.
      Well, we wouldn’t want it too easy, would we?

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