President Obama Joins the Health Care Reform Fray

I was quick to click the link in my reader when I saw it: US President Obama pushes to revive healthcare reform.  Interestingly, the alert was from my BBC feed, not my CNN feed. I did not find the article on the US news site until the next morning when I went looking for it (It wasn’t even one of the headlines. I had to scroll to find it buried in the Health section). Seems that the Brits understand the urgency of our crisis better than we do.

The president’s proposal comes just days before the Bipartisan Meeting on Health Reform that the president arranged for tomorrow, Thursday, February 25 at 10:00 AM EST. The meeting will be open to the press and will be streamed live at

According to the BBC story, the highlights of Obama’s proposal are:

  • It gives state and federal government the authority to deny substantial premium increases, to limit them, and to demand rebates for consumers.
  • It requires most Americans to take out health insurance coverage and provides federal subsidies to help many people afford the premiums.
  • It prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to people with the dreaded “pre-existing condition” and also bars them from charging these people more.

According to the White House’s Website, Putting Americans In Control of Their Health Care, the proposal “… will make health care more affordable, make health insurers more accountable, expand health coverage to all Americans, and make the health system sustainable …”

Sounds good, no?

Well, maybe not to everyone. There has been some critical banter about the proposal and the bipartisan meeting lately, primarily from the Republican party. In particular, House Minority Leader John Boehner has been critical of the proposal because it is too short. At just eleven pages, the proposal is barely a fraction of the roughly 2,000 page bills that the House and Senate drafted. Interestingly, Boehner was also critical of the length of the House and Senate bills, stating that they were too long.

Republicans also seem reluctant to attend the bipartisan meeting, indicating in their discussions with the press that they fear the meeting is a political trap designed to make their health care proposals appear thin.

Additionally, many Republicans have asked the president to scrap the current House and Senate proposals and move forward into the bipartisan meeting with a blank slate. The president has said he would not do that. This leads his critics to argue that Obama is not sincere in his push to drive through a plausible solution.

Speaking of Putting Americans In Control of Their Health Care, the Website appears to be a pretty comprehensive collection of straight-forward information all dedicated to  the White House’s efforts to push through a meaningful health care reform bill. It is complete with the text of the president’s actual proposal, a list of Republican ideas that are included in the proposal, and a wealth of information about the bipartisan meeting. As I type this, the site is hosting a live streaming video chat with Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director of White House Office of Health Reform. The video chat addresses questions that members of the American public have raised about the president’s proposal. There is a wealth of information available on this site, and even some opportunities to interact. Pretty impressive.

Here’s hoping that the president is able to move things in the right direction. His proposal, unlike the House and Senate proposals, seems to actually address the needs of the US population in a clear and direct way. I will be keeping tabs on the bipartisan meeting. While I’m not all that optimistic, I am hopeful. My bank account can’t sustain a 47% increase in health care costs every year. And I’m tired of living with the what ifs — What if I lose my job (and consequently my insurance coverage)? What if my insurance rates skyrocket again next year? What if my insurance company denies my claim? What if my prior authorization request gets “lost in the mail” … again?

Mr. Obama, I’m pulling for you. We need this. All 23.6 million of us.


US President Obama pushes to revive healthcare reform from BBC News,

White House unveils compromise health care bill from CNN,

Boehner: Obama’s Health Care Proposal Is Too Short from TPM,

Putting Americans In Control Of Their Health Care from the White House,

Full Text: Obama’s Health Care Proposal from Kaiser Health News,

GOP skeptical of Obama’s health care summit from The Washington Times,

Top House Republicans throw cold water on health-care summit from The Washington Post’s 44 Politics and Policy,

Diabetes Statistics from the American Diabetes Association,

Explore posts in the same categories: Insurance, resources

Tags: ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: