Hardly A Big Change For A Government Take Over of Health Care

Opponents of health care reform claim that the current plans represent a government take over of heath care. Ezra Klein looks at the Congressional Budget Office’s evaluation of the Senate Finance Committee proposal:

The verdict? It will look a lot like our old health-care system.

Unless you’re uninsured, or on the individual market, this bill is not expected to affect you. CBO estimates that 29 million Americans who would’ve otherwise been uninsured will be covered. That’s a very big deal. Five million Americans who would otherwise have been left to the individual market will find a better option. And 3 million Americans who would’ve otherwise been in employer-based health insurance will be on the exchanges or, in some cases, on Medicaid. The insurance exchanges are projected to serve 23 million people come 2019, and 18 million of the members will be low-income and on subsidies.

That leaves 245 million non-elderly Americans who will pretty much be in the exact place they would’ve been otherwise. As for the elderly, the CBO doesn’t include them because they’re on Medicare. They, too, will be where they otherwise would’ve been.

This is hardly the radical change that opponents claim. As an owner of a small business this matters more to me than it does to the vast majority of people who are protesting against health care reform. I sure hope that they go beyond the current proposal and also give us the choice of a public option.

The key finding in the Congressional Budget Office report is that this would reduce the deficit by $81 billion over the next decade. While reducing the deficit is a good thing (most recently only seen under a Democratic president), I hope we don’t place this over doing health care reform right. Eliminating wasteful government spending (like the subsidies given by George Bush to the insurance companies in Medicare Advantage plans) is a good thing, but sometimes we really do benefit by spending more government money. I’d prefer that the deficit not be reduced as much so that greater assistance can be given to individuals to purchase health care coverage, and to avoid needing to expand coverage by placing people in Medicaid as opposed to real insurance plans.

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  1. 1
    Eclectic Radical says:

    Klein goes a little too easy on the Baucus bill.
    People in the private insurance market will see their rate schedules affected quite strongly and not all in good ways. While younger people will see their rates go down, older people will see them go up.
    And not everyone who gets employer-paid insurance will be unaffected. ‘Cadillac’ benefits will be taxed, private or employer-paid.

  2. 2
    Eric Pearson says:

    I noticed the Tennessee Democratic Party website doesn’t list Congressman Jim Cooper as a declared Democratic candidate for 2010. So I called his office in Nashville and they said Congressman Jim Cooper is a declared Democratic candidate for 2010. I suspect the Tennessee Democratic Party website has left him of the list because they don’t want to help endorse him again.
    For example:
    Jim Cooper does not support habeas corpus for prisoners at Guantanamo, and has refused to support legislation to close Guantanamo.
    Jim Cooper has refused to support the “Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007,” which would make “significant changes to provisions of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 by restoring the writ of habeas corpus for individuals held under U.S. jurisdiction, narrowing the definition of an unlawful enemy combatant, preventing the use of evidence gained through torture and coercion, and requiring the U.S. to abide to its Geneva Convention obligations.” More importantly, Jim Cooper has declined to sign onto legislation that requires the U.S. to live up to the Geneva Conventions.
    Jim Cooper has refused to support efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Iraq.
    Jim Cooper supports continuing the U.S. aggression in Iraq, he is against insisting on Congressional oversight of the war effort, and wants to give the NSA a pass to go around the FISA Courts.
    Jim Cooper refused to support legislation that would hold mercenaries (a/k/a “contractors”) to the same standards of conduct expected of American soldiers.
    Jim Cooper has refused to push for a ban on cluster bombs used in the vicinity of civilians.
    Jim Cooper has refused to support legislation that would ban the so-called “outsourcing” of torture.
    Jim Cooper has refused to sign onto legislation that would investigate and probably reign in WHINSEC, the U.S. government’s notorious training school for torturers and terrorists.
    Jim Cooper isn’t interested in repealing the so-called “Real ID” act. In case you have not heard, “Real ID” was slipped through into law without debate a few years ago. It gives states a very expensive unfunded mandate to create a national ID card, and many privacy experts see the database it is supposed to create as an invitation to snooping and identity theft.
    Jim Cooper has failed to achieve a leadership position within the U.S. House of Representatives over the past six years in office.
    Jim Cooper voted for the $825 billion economic stimulus package without reading it first.
    Jim Cooper refused to have hometown meetings with the citizens of his community on the issue of Health Care.
    Hint: It’s not the voters of Nashville and Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, who strongly support a public option. Here are the industries who have donated to Jim Cooper’s campaigns, according to OpenSecrets.org:
    $651,803 Lawyers/Law Firms
    $502,323 Securities & Investment
    $216,255 Real Estate
    $197,306 Retired
    $184,759 INSURANCE
    $128,930 Misc Finance
    $125,398 MISC HEALTH
    $112,050 Commercial Banks
    $107,696 Accountants
    $105,107 Education
    That totals up to almost $1 million for Jim Cooper from health care special interests!
    No wonder Congressman Jim Cooper is fighting for them — and and not for his constituents — when it comes to health care.
    More information about Congressman Jim Cooper can be seen at:

  3. 3
    Eclectic Radical says:

    Looks like you have officially hit the big time, Ron.
    Someone thinks you are getting enough activity to post Larouche Spam on your blog. 🙂
    Congrats. 🙂

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