February 25th, 2009
04:36 PM ET
9 years ago

Budget will include $634 billion health care reserve fund

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Two White House officials tell CNN that the budget to be released Thursday will include a $634 billion health care “reserve fund” designed to help pay the costs of overhauling the health care system over the next ten years.

One of the officials says the administration sees health care as the biggest driver of and linchpin to fiscal health, and the fund is a down payment on the effort to reform health care. Money for the reserve fund would come from limiting tax breaks for the wealthy and tightening payments to insurers, hospitals and physicians.

In an interview Tuesday, OMB Director Peter Orszag told CNN he believes a massive overhaul of the health care system can be achieved this year and he said he believes it should be “universal coverage."

“We're going to try to avoid the mistakes of the past and not lay down a fully detailed plan, rather work costructively with Congress, “ Orszag said.

(Updated 7 p.m. with updated dollar figure)

Filed under: Health care • Obama administration
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. connect the dots

    AARP, what a joke,they messed up the medicaid bill the last time under Bush.

    February 25, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  2. TCM

    @ YBM –

    Idiots like SNIFFIT think it either comes from Kinkos where Uhbama has it printed, or Uhbama...well, he has a really big pillow and the tooth fairy puts a bag under there every night....liberals are so out of touch; and are willing to give away everything that's not theirs.....

    February 25, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  3. JB

    Since when did Lincoln become such a good president. . . .when the media and "teachers" decided to annoint him a good president. If anyone had a shred of education they would know he was almost HANDS down the worst president EVER. He almost blew the war, when there was no way the south should have even been in a situation to harm one northerner. The only reason he freed the slaves, because he needed them to fight after being whooped by the less armed and outnumbered south. He got lucky. If it wasn't for an over confident general during Getteyburg, this country would be very different. Anyone ever heard of Pickett??? Lincoln is only now being heralded because of Obama. I see similarities between the two. And the lemmings in this country just assume Lincoln was a good president. Do your research people, don't just believe anything anyone tells you.

    February 25, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. Wayne

    Bush gave 1 trillion dollars to Irak to create universal health care for all.

    For americans these republicans wouldn't give anything, the think the money is better spend on tax breaks for the rich.

    What a disgrace these guys are to the country and to the world.

    February 25, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  5. JonDie

    Of course Jindal gets bad reviews, he's an idiot. Just like Sarah Palin. Just like John Boehner. Just like Mitch McConnell. Just like Jim Bunning.

    Although Jindal's not as big an idiot as John "We're losing in Afghanistan" McCain. Of course we're losing in Afghanistan, we've wasted the lives of almost 5,000 American soliders in Iraq, and thrown a trillion dollars of taxpayer money (all deficit spending) down the drain (most of it stolen by US military contractors) because...duh...Bush invaded Iraq, which didn't attack us on 9-11, instead of going after Obama bin Laden, we did attack us on 9-11 using bases in Afghanistan.

    February 25, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  6. Sue

    In case you were blinded by GWB the past 8 years, we were already headed toward hell via his lies, wars, and secretive fascist agenda. Obama is not the Antichriust, nor is he anything like Hitler. I love the cons blabbing about tax hikes, when had Bush not spent OUR money recklessly, and borrowed billions more, we would not be in the current mess.
    Exactly what would you have Obama do? Lower taxes, leave people out of work and out of their homes, leave millions with no health care? Sounds like Bush.
    A society must have taxes to pay for services. Why do you think states are in trouble?

    February 25, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  7. Chris in Va.

    God.....please let them have included enough money in the stimulus so Republitards like "YBM" and "CNN moderation purgatory" can buy a life......Amen.

    February 25, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  8. Independent Thinkder

    Seriously? That is almost as much as the entire once-in-a-century stimulus, and it is only a one year budget reserve as a "down payment" on health care reform. Seems to me that this story is highly under-reported. I had to listen to two weeks of non-stop talk about the stimulus, but CNN is the only news outlet reporting on what appears to be a much more expensive item with a down payment that (practically) equals the amount of the stimulus.

    Can someone, anyone, explain to me how a mess that we got into through borrowing can be fixed by further borrowing on a massive scale?

    February 25, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  9. Meka




    February 25, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  10. YBM

    @sniffit, funny, you were pretty much agreeing with me in a posting on another article:

    Sniffit February 25th, 2009 5:00 pm ET

    @ Mathew, Detroit

    People who are sick and not getting treatment generally contribute nothing to our economy, the GNP, etc., whereas those who receive treatment and then get and stay healthy do. I suppose in your world though, once you're sick and can't contribute, you should just die and get out of everyone else's way though, huh?

    Think before you post.

    So much for your chiding of Mathew, Detroit or myself.

    February 25, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. Louisiana gal..

    Creating a fund for health care is a very smart thing to do, whether it works or it doesn't, it can always be transformed into the needs of the day.

    Good job Obama!!

    February 25, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  12. Santa Maria

    The Obama administration sure likes to say "we want to avoid the mistakes of the past" a lot. That is great...except they leave of the part about how they plan to do it. The full quote should be "we want to avoid the mistakes of the past, but we are going to make far bigger, more expensive mistakes of our own!"

    February 25, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. Mari

    *********CNN please post***************************************************

    @ Matthew in Detroit..... AGAIN I say NO ONE is going to take any money from rich-white-people (as if they are the ONLY ones with money!).

    Healthcare is crucial for prosperity! My brother-in-law owns a machine shop, and can not afford to give his employees healthcare! He voted for Obama, because he recognizes that people need healthcare!

    When healthcare COSTS are the NUMBER ONE reason for bankruptcy in our Nation, we need to WAKE UP AND CHANGE THE SYSTEM!

    ALSO, regardless of what the GOP-fear-mongers say, Americans who have private healthcare can continue with it!

    I for one, value life, and want every single American citizen to have healthcare.


    February 25, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. Chris in Va.

    @ TCM....You calling someone an idiot is even funnier than a Republitard sniveling about the bad economy. You really should consider wrapping yourself in the flag and quietly pout in the corner,(key word here is quietly) as it is now you basically come on here every day and make a complete arse of yourself....I am embarassed FOR you.

    February 25, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  15. jon

    "Back in the USSR" the Beatles lyrics have finally come true

    February 25, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  16. gl, Pittsburgh

    I work for my local government and my insurace is just a good as Congress. I think everybody should have this type of insurance. Most of the Republicans that don't want the average American can have this type of insurance are selfish. They want it all for themself and family members.

    February 25, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  17. Fan of Common Sense

    Twelve trillion dollar naitonal debt and we are talking about reserves for anything. Yeah, right.

    February 25, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. Interestedparty

    How about instituting tort reform as a way to bring down the cost of healthcare.

    February 25, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  19. sniffit

    @ YBM

    Recognizing and accepting that we can't agree on everything, then accepting that neither of us gets to say "my way or no way," well, that's bipartisanship now isn't it?

    February 25, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  20. sniffit

    @ YBM

    Recognizing and accepting that we can't agree on everything, then accepting that neither of us gets to say "my way or no way," well, that's bipartisanship now isn't it?

    However, I will say that your statement that I was agreing with you only works if you start from the premise that you're right about the result of taking steps to universalize healthcare. We don't agree there. You don't get to insert your beliefs into my head in order to further your argument.

    February 25, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  21. Kathy

    STOP THE SPENDING!!!! This is insane. Why are people still so impressed with this fool?? Did I miss something??? Oh! Maybe all the people cheering him on live off the system. That makes sense!!!

    February 25, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. Steve

    I'm reading these entries from "conservatives" with some amusement. If you listen to people like Rush Limbaugh, you are not a conservative. You are a sheep. Do not let Radical Rush do your thinking for you. The same with Overstate-It O'Reilly. These people are just spewing radical nonsense so they can keep their own multi-million-dollar-a-year jobs. They don't care about you, as long as you tune them in. They'll say anything, and I do mean anything, to keep you listening. "Terrorist Supporter". "Socialist". "Not American". This is utter nonsense. If you are a true conservative, check your facts. Do your homework. Make your criticisms of the liberal agenda from a standpoint of knowledge and information. If you can't do that, you're just a whiner. We have too many whiners now, when we need intelligent, thoughtful people.

    February 25, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  23. SG

    If Obama can't come up with a decent bail-out plan for banks and mortgages then this will be a waste of time. He desperately needs to communicate to bankers and Wall Street a plan to stabilize the banks and get credit flowing again. He had another chance last night and blew it again.

    When will he present a plan that gives the investment community confidence in his administration? If he can't get this done then a healthcare reserve fund will be the least of our worries.

    February 25, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. Ray Fisher

    By combining all federal health care systems into one Americare system we can save about that much money under the Medicare infrastructure umbrella and fiscal intermediaries combining Medicare, Medicaid, SSA, VA, Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Champus, TriCare, etc... by reducing redundancy and eliminating care infrastructures and replacing with an insurance card, great savings can result. No government hospitals, clinics, equipment, personnel, insurance, overhead etc... then allow people to purchase the coverage if otherwise ineligible and you have universal coverage dropping costs rapidly covering only that which sustains life with supplemental insurances provided by the free-market as Mdicare exists now. Universal care isn't hard if we simplify the complicated first!!!

    February 25, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  25. Matthew, Detroit

    Where do you people think all this money comes from?

    Louisiana Gilr, (sounding 12 years old.)

    Wow Obama is so smart creating a fund for healthcare.

    No DIMWIT the issues is not creating the fund. The problem is he can not pay for the fund. WE NEVER NEVER NEVER spend less.

    We ALWAYS spend more. 70's, 80's, 90's, 09, etc....

    February 25, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
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