Thursday, March 5, 2009

Obama's Economic Heatlh Care Solution: The Speech

Bigger than any tax cut imagined by Republicans, restructuring health care will change the economy. Here are the highlights (to keep under 10 minutes).

According to
Wisconsin family health insurance policy premiums will increase 83 percent and cost more than $24,000 by 2016 if nothing is done to change the health care system, a new report found.
Citizen Action of Wisconsin released the report, entitled “The Cost of Doing Nothing: Wisconsin,” from the New America Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan health policy institute created in 1999.

If nothing is done, family health insurance premiums, which already cost over $13,000 per year will increase to $17,937 a year in 2012 and to $24,291 in 2016, the report found. by the employer and employee. By 2016, a family health insurance policy in Wisconsin will cost 45 percent of median household income. At the same time, required family contributions for employer-based health insurance are expected to increase 106 percent from $2,907 in 2008 to $5,989 in 2016.

Wisconsin’s economy lost as much as $1.9 billion because of the poor health and shorter lifespan of the uninsured in 2007, Carpenter said. That equates to close to $4,200 per uninsured Wisconsin resident. On a national level, approximately $207 billion was lost in 2007, aid Elizabeth Carpenter, co-author of the report. “The economy that is being sacrificed (in Wisconsin) is just about as much as it would cost to make sure everyone has affordable health coverage,” Carpenter said.

A group called Conservatives for Patients Rights is spending $20 million on a massive radio and television ad campaign to fight new health care reform as outlined by President Obama. The group’s head, the right-wing millionaire Richard Scott, is spending $5 million of his own money on the effort. [POLITICO] Scott is the former CEO of Columbia/HCA Healthcare. In 1997, Scott was forced to resign from the company amid fraud charges. HCA then admitted “to bilking various government programs and agreed to pay a total of $840 million in fines and penalties.” The fraud settlement was, at the time, the largest in U.S. history.

Claim V. Fact: The Richard Scott group says new health care reform limits choice: “Imagine waking up one day and all your medical decisions are made by a central national board. Bureaucrats decide the treatments you receive, the drugs you take, even the doctors you see.” That isn’t true. In reality, the president’s plan outlines “eight principles of any overhaul, including letting patients stick with their own doctors and health care plans, reducing insurance premiums and guaranteeing that Americans will have a choice of health plans and physicians.

What Americans Want: Americans overwhelmingly favor new health care reform. A recent CNN poll found 72 percent favor “a program that would increase the federal government’s influence over the country’s health care system in an attempt to lower costs and provide health care coverage to more Americans” while a Fox News poll found 66 percent of Americans agree that it is “the responsibility of the federal government” to “make sure all Americans have health care.” [CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORP POLL] [FOX NEWS/OPINION DYNAMICS]

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