Posted by: tristar3research | March 10, 2009

Health Care: Budgeting for Change…and Cost Shifting to Consumers

Budgeting for Change — Obama’s Down Payment on Health Care Reform: Outlining a bold set of initiatives that would increase the role of government well beyond the boundaries sketched out by the $787 billion economic stimulus package, President Barack Obama has proposed a 2010 budget supporting his commitment to expanding a range of domestic programs, redistributing wealth to middle- and lower-income families, and reforming the health care system. The spending plan is breathtaking in scope and is designed to replace conservative policies that have been embraced by Republican administrations going back to Ronald Reagan. Released on February 26, the $3.6 trillion proposal calls on Congress to commit to a down payment of $630 billion over the next decade to finance health care reform and work with the administration to design a reform package. The budget adds substantially to the $150 billion in health-related revenues from the economic stimulus package that Obama signed into law on February 17.

Released only 5 weeks after Obama assumed office, the 134-page pamphlet of budget proposals represents a preliminary offering and, as such, is sketchy on details — particularly about reform. The withdrawal of Tom Daschle as Obama’s nominee for secretary of health and human services and director of the new White House Office for Health Reform left a vacuum that Orszag has filled. Although he was always expected to become a central figure, Orszag is now presiding over the development and execution of the administration’s reform strategy. His special assistant for health reform is Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist who was detailed to OMB from the National Institutes of Health, where he chairs the Department of Clinical Bioethics. Emanuel, who set out his views on health care reform on PBS and in a recent book, is a brother of Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s chief of staff.

See an interesting review of the role he’ll play in the New England Journal of Medicine:

Budgeting for Change — Obama’s Down Payment on Health Care Reform, New England Journal of Medicine, John K. Iglehart, March 4, 2009 (10.1056/NEJMp0901927)-

CBS points out that: Almost no one believes that  Americans are getting good value for their health care dollars. Some experts say 30 percent or more of what the nation spends may be going for tests and treatments of little or no lasting benefit. But bringing the uninsured into such a costly system won’t be easy. Experts say the cost could easily exceed $1 trillion over 10 years, a figure that the Obama administration does not dispute. (Because it will be more expensive)

Of course, Fidelity and other mutual funds are simply looking at this as a way of marketing health ummm savings accounts… and so they sponsored this Yahoo online info ad.


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