Monday, February 22, 2010

Obama's New Health Care Plan

The biggest news about the President's "new" health care plan is that it's basically the same old same old senate bill, and the Dems intend to pass it via Reconciliation. Or so they say. IF Democrats actually deliver on the threat to stand and fight for anything, then Democrats would not be acting like Democrats. So, we'll believe it when we see it. Obama also proposes to block excessive rate increases from the insurance companies. Following are snippets of opinion from lefty bloggers of interest:

Digby: "It's pretty much the Senate bill with the reconciliation fixes everyone's discussed. The regulation of insurance rates was apparently a part of the discussions early on but was dropped in order to get the "cooperation" of the insurance industry, something which they have finally figured out isn't worth doing. All in all, no surprises."

David Dayen: "Community health centers. Bernie Sanders worked hard to get close to $10 billion in additional funding for community health centers, some of the most efficient money in the entire bill, offering universal coverage to low-income community residents.

Paul Krugman: "OK, the plan is out. Basically, it splits the difference between the House and Senate bills, with a set of measures that can be passed through reconciliation. Igor Volsky has a nice table doing the comparison. Since the House bill is better than the Senate bill, and the Senate bill is much better than nothing, this should be a go."

Jane Hamsher: "Mandate Penalty Increases From 2% to 2.5% In President’s Health Care Bill"

Cedwyn: "This comment by dmhlt 66 has a nifty comparison chart for the three bills, Obama/House/Senate and this comment by Femlaw has info about the WH blog feature where you can calculate how his proposal would impact you."

Ezra Klein: "The changes are pretty much what we expected: more money going to subsidies (which are now being referred to as "the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history"), an excise tax that kicks in later and affects fewer plans, a new Health Insurance Rate Authority to oversee premium increases and reject them if they're unfair, the elimination of the Nebraska deal, and so on. There's no public option, nor any significant retrenchment. In fact, the cost of the bill has increased by $75 billion, the result of more generous subsidies."