Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration raised the stakes in the health care debate Monday, releasing a new blueprint that seeks to bridge the gap between measures passed by the Senate and House of Representatives last year.
If enacted, the president's sweeping compromise plan would constitute the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid more than four decades ago.
Among other things, it would close the Medicare prescription drug "doughnut hole," increase federal subsidies to help people buy insurance and give the federal government new authority to block excessive rate hikes by health insurance companies.
It increases the threshold - relative to the Senate bill - under which a tax on high-end health insurance plans would kick in.
President Obama's plan does not include a government-run public health insurance option, an idea strongly backed by liberal Democrats but fiercely opposed by both Republicans and key Democratic moderates.
If it requires individual mandates, then the plan should mandate that insurance companies have to spread the risk among their entire existing insured population, and not divide it into arbitrary pools. Otherwise individuals, unlike groups, have no leverage when arbitrary new rules or rate hikes are imposed.
A very common sense proposal which I am sure will be torn apart by individuals who would rather see nothing done to prove the point that Obama is not a good choice for President. Such a sad state of affairs for Congress who will not support such a well though out approach to the massive health care problem in the United States
Now let's see if everyone will attend the televised health care meeting and if everyone works together in good faith. I'm not hopeful the Republicans will work with this administration at all, even on something as important as our failed health care system. However, I'd like to be proven wrong.
Here's an idea. Have NO health insurance for anyone, including congress and the president. Everybody pays cash for service. It will create competition and lower costs.
Imagine an MRI costing $25. Or an ER visit costing $40! It can happen America. It can happen.
Health care takeover tacked on to a budget reconcilliation bill? These people will do anything to advance their agenda. Something as expansive, and as important, as health care deserves its own bill.
The health care bill is a sham.
We do not need nor want the goverment involved in healthcare.
It is a money grab pure and simple.
The US goverment takes in 2.2 Trillion each year (all sources).
The National Debt is currently 13 Trillion in the RED/NEGATIVE.
Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security (Entitlements) are CURRENTLY in the HOLE OR UNFUNDED to the tune of 65 TRILLION DOLLARS.
WE CAN NOT AFFORD HEALTH CARE FOR ALL.
WE CAN NOT AFFORD ALL THE NEW TAXES.
WE CAN NOT AFFORD THE PUSH TO SOCIALISM.
WE CAN NOT AFFORD THE PUSH TO A COMMUNIST STATE.
THE NEXT STEP IS A DICTATORSHIP as we move to HOPE AND CHANGE.
THIS IS TERRIBLE AMERICA SAY NO.
This is a step in the right direction. It helps and protects the American people tremendously. Now I just wonder, what fault will the GOP find in this. Although it does not include the public option, at this time, it does prevent the insurance company from ridiculous rate hikes and that's a reform needed immediately. Got to give it to our President, he is a genuious and it is very obviously that he is trying to bring relief to the American people. I am also pleased to see people like the Gov. from California and others expose the truth of their party. The tone of the Governors meeting is the type of "working together" needed in Congress: the idea of woriking together WITH OUR PRESIDENT, not against him. I think there should be the Office of the President and the State Governor's Association. Cut out the middle man. He's getting in the way. Hats off to our Commader-In-Chief.
Ths is an ok compromise. Let's see the Repubs wine and moan about this one.
Obummie is the most hard headed idiot that ever set in the oval office. The people don't want his bill. He is at 45% approval and 54% disapproval as of this mornings Rasmussen poll. He needs to be impeached and get someone in there that focuses on JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!!!!!
I guess obama isn't as smart as people seem to think.
He still hasn't learned from history that when the government gets involved in the private sector, things get screwed up.
(Fannie Mae under Clinton and the housing bubble burst/banking collapse, and let's not even talk about how well the government has done with social security, medicare, the post office...)
And please don't talk about corruption and big bonuses. The private secotr will correct itself over time by putting excesses out of business on their own. Take a look at a magazine from 40 years ago and see how many of those poorly run companies are still in business. If they cannot compete on their own, the government is only prolonging the inevitable by their bailouts.
If they don't include a public option then they need to remove the mandate to purchase health insurance AND add the anti-trust measures in for insurance companies. If that's not resolved, then I'm against it.
THANK YOU MR. PRESIDENT! Please continue to be THE ADULT IN THE ROOM!
Thank you for focusing on health care reform. It is the single most under-appreciated, and under-discussed issue, no thanks to the pathetic American media.
Health Care/Insurance Reform is CRITICAL both to everyday life as well as to the health of our local, state and national economies.
The Republican Party needs to allow this issue to have a simple UP or DOWN vote.
Well at least Obama is trying. The Repubs want it all just left alone, sit back and watch Health Care representing a larger and larger % of our GDP, now up to 15% and rising.
I've got an idea! Why not slash taxes by 10% for the top 1% of Americans and watch their new found $$$ "trickle down" to the middle class. They can then use their trickle down funds to pay for their increased health care costs.
All in favor - raise your hands.
Oops - Didn't we try that before? Did anyone get wet from those trickle down funds? Naw - we watched the wealthy go out and buy a bigger yacht.
It's time for Democrats to take action against Republicans.....by acting just like Republicans.... Pass the public option in a fiscal budgetary ammendment striking down anti-trust laws against Health Insurance company monopolies, and severely limiting Health Insurance rate increase abuses.
Expanding the federal government is NOT a compromise I want. The only people wanting larger government are people looking to land lifetime jobs as a government union worker. THIS IS THE PROBLEM. Government workers should NOT get retirement benefits so they are motivated to leave and retire from the private sector only and NOT on the backs of the taxpayers.