Viewpoints: Disputing the costs -- or savings -- of the health law; Britain's NHS; 'Fixing' Wis. Medicaid

Published on January 21, 2011 at 10:06 AM · No Comments

National Journal: Repeal and Avoid
With this week's vote to repeal President Obama's health care reform, House Republicans struck a blow for freedom. They struck a blow for the freedom of hospitals to avoid financial penalties, no matter how many Medicare patients develop infections under their care. They struck a blow for the freedom of hospitals to avoid consequences, no matter how many Medicare patients are re­admitted soon after treatment. And they struck a blow for the freedom of health care providers to receive unending annual increases in their Medicare reimbursements, even if they fail to improve their productivity by even a fraction of what's occurring in other industries (Ronald Brownstein, 1/20).  

Los Angeles Times: GOP's Childish Opposition To Healthcare Reform
Get over your bad selves. That's basically what former Senate Republican leader Bill Frist told his GOP compadres this week as they set about trying to dismantle the national healthcare reform law. ... The prudent thing to do at this point is to build on [the law] rather than waste time with fruitless — and needlessly divisive — political grandstanding. And the Republicans have outdone themselves for misinforming the American people about what the reform law will and will not do (David Lazarus, 1/21).

The Washington Post: The GOP's Rude Awakening On Health-Care Repeal
This whole health-care thing isn't quite working out the way Republicans planned. ... [an] AP poll found that just 26 percent of respondents wanted Congress to repeal the reform law completely. A recent Washington Post poll found support for outright repeal at 18 percent; a Marist poll pegged it at 30 percent. In other words, what House Republicans just voted to do may be the will of the Tea Party, but it's not "the will of the people"  (Eugene Robinson, 1/21).

The Washington Post: Everything Starts With Repeal
Suppose someone -- say, the president of United States -- proposed the following: We are drowning in debt. More than $14 trillion right now. I've got a great idea for deficit reduction. It will yield a savings of $230 billion over the next 10 years: We increase spending by $540 billion while we increase taxes by $770 billion. He'd be laughed out of town. And yet, this is precisely what the Democrats are claiming as a virtue of Obamacare (Charles Krauthammer, 1/21).

San Francisco Chronicle: GOP Vote To Repeal Health Reform An Empty Gesture
At the very least, if they insist on scotching Obama's health care plan, they need to produce one of their own -- preferably one that would also save the country $230 billion in deficits. So far, their alternative ideas -- allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines, expanded medical savings accounts, and medical liability reform -- aren't big enough to offer that much in savings (1/21).

San Francisco Chronicle: Time To Curb Obamacare
When he ran for office, Obama said that his health care plan "will cut the cost of a typical family's premium by $2,500." But how are employers supposed to curb rising health costs when Washington is stripping away the leverage to contain them? (Debra J. Saunders, 1/20). 

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