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Health Care

House Pledges July 31 Deadline to Pass Health Care Reform

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Updated 11:06 a.m.
By Scott Wilson
House leaders pledged today to pass comprehensive health care legislation by July 31, a deadline President Obama said showed the "urgency" needed to fulfill his signature reform measure this year.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the deadline after meeting with Obama and other House Democratic leaders at the White House this morning. The president linked the pledge to other progress he said he has made this week on sweeping health care reform, a goal that has proven elusive for decades. If it stays on deadline, the House would send legislation to the Senate after the August recess, improving its chances of passing this year.

"We don't have any excuses," Obama said. "The stars are aligned."

Obama began the week meeting with health care industry executives who pledged to voluntarily reduce the annual growth of health care costs by 1.5 percentage points, saving an estimated $2 trillion over the next decade. Obama repeated today that escalating health care costs are "the single biggest driver by far" of the ballooning budget deficit and national debt, and those projected savings would in theory help reduce Medicare and Medicaid costs in the coming years.

On Tuesday, Obama held a roundtable discussion at the White House with business leaders to talk about employer health care costs. In looking for ways to pay for expanded health care coverage, the administration is considering taxing the cost of some employer-subsidized health benefits, something that Obama opposed during last year's campaign.

But Obama said today he is encouraged by the week's discussions, saying that "we are starting to see a shift in those patterns" of partisanship, industry opposition, and special-interest lobbying pressure that have conspired to undermine past efforts to bring down health care costs and extend coverage. About 50 million Americans have no health insurance today.

Republican Rep. Roy Blunt (Mo.), chairman of the House Health Care Solutions Group, expressed displeasure after the meeting at not having been included.

"I've told the President and White House staff on numerous occasions that the House Health Care Solutions Group is ready to work with him toward the shared goal of making quality, affordable health care accessible to all Americans," he said in a statement. "This common ground serves as a constructive starting point for true health care reform, but we find private, one-party meetings that set arbitrary deadlines a sign of a troubling lack of bipartisanship."

Posted at 10:57 AM ET on May 13, 2009  | Category:  Health Care
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This Nation is far away from having a Nationwide Electronic Health Records Interoperability. Even Nations such as England and Israel that have over 80% Electronic Health Records (EHR) Adoption in Primary Care, still do not have a nationwide EHR Network. What this means, is that, we must work with our Leaders to Fund the Nationwide Deployment of a pure Packet-based, All Optical/IP, Multi-Service, transport Network, using Ethernet throughout the Network. The Benefits of such Network include: e-Healthcare, e-Commerce, e-Education, Transportation Systems, Energy Systems, Social Networking, etc, etc. The President's Stimulus Package, provides, once in a life-time Opportunity, for us to start building this Network.

Gadema Korboi Quoquoi
President & CEO
Please See: for Detail of the above mentioned Network.

Posted by: gademaquoquoi | May 16, 2009 11:44 AM

do people not realize that the government can't run its own system now, Medicare. Its going bankrupt in 2018.

The reason its not going bankrupt sooner you ask? Because medicare reimbursements to providers have been slowly destroying the private insurance industry for years. Medicare reimbursements decrease so hosptials and large doctor groups are forced to go to private insurers in the middle of their contracts and require 25-30% increases in their costs to stay afloat. This happened recently in a northern NJ hospital network (Atlantic Health Systems). They required BCBS in the middle of their contract to increase costs by 30%. When BCBS feared losing market share by such a major hospital they relented and increased reimbursements by 25% This resulted in higher rates for all of us.

If the public plan is enacted that allows this to continue this is what will happen.

1-private insurers can't compete with the public plan for several reasons:

a-the public plan does not have to advertise (approx 5% cost)

b-public plan can control what docs and hospitals are paid, private has to compete and cannot arbitrarily assign costs (10% minimum)

c-public plan has no insurance broker/representatives while private plans do (5%). Good luck getting your claims paid correctly or at all from the public plan.

When the public plan is so much cheaper than the private plan could ever be the 160 million of us in a private plan will sheepishly migrate over to the public plan. Eventually we'll only have the public plan. Those doctors that remain will revolt due to the low reimbursements and new docs won't become doctors because it won't pay enough to be worth it. Rationing will occur because we won't have enough doctors which is already a problem.

Enjoy Socialism everyone.

If i wanted to go to France I would've moved there years ago.

Posted by: visionbrkr | May 14, 2009 7:53 AM

I can understand why the President wants to get a lot of stuff done while he is still popular and while he has political capital to use.

But July 31 seems like a rather arbitrary deadline for something this complex. If a heath care bill is passed by this deadline it is going to be slapped together and will not be something that the President or Congress will be proud of.

This requires more thought than several months and a rush job on something as important as this will make the problem worse.

The President does not have to include the Republicans on this but he and the Democrats should take more time to get this right.

Posted by: danielhancock | May 13, 2009 11:58 PM

If this is a democratic nation, then why are not the minority involved in the decisions that will make a major impact on the nation. The health care bill will be written by the Democrats without the input of the other parties, and pushed through the House with the dems voting it in. Don't look for any rep. votes because they were not involved in the writing of the bill. WE WON AND WE WILL WRITE THE BILLS. SO SAID THE SPEAKER.

Posted by: dy19spider57 | May 13, 2009 9:25 PM

"BEFORE!!!" the rush to enact this legislation............"WHERE???" is the funding for this National Health Care Plan coming from???

Could it be that "YOU and I", "Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer" will be getting another TAX BILL for ANOTHER glutonous Govt. spending bill???

The Govt. has NEVER given ANYTHING to ANYONE that was not ultimately coming out of YOUR POCKET, Mr. and Mrs. Taypayer!!!

Posted by: thgirbla | May 13, 2009 6:26 PM

The current problem with healthcare is the gov't run medicare.

It adds 25%-35% to the cost of everyone's coverage for coding and a 9% upcharge because medicare currently underpays doctors and hospitals so the rest of us pick up the tab.

Anyone who thinks this is the answer is uneducated.

Go look up ICD10 and report back.

Posted by: debmries | May 13, 2009 5:12 PM

Every one who doesn't like this idea better join or .

We have SS and medicare which are headed for bankruptcy. A school system in failure.

Now we are going to hand over our lives and personal health history to these incompetent law makers and gov't employees?

Posted by: debmries | May 13, 2009 5:10 PM

A health care system that covers all Americans and controls cost is imperative. Otherwise skyrocketing health care costs will take down the economy again.

There are already ads attacking the health care proposals, saying you can't get the services you need. With forty to fifty million uninsured, millions of others with huge deductibles or polices that exclude common illnesses or pre-existing illness, there are already tens of millions who can't get the services they need.

Ignore the millionaires who are trying the protect the goose that lays their golden eggs. Pass a fair, cost-efficient health plan which covers everyone as soon as possible.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | May 13, 2009 5:04 PM

"We don't have any excuses," Obama said. "The stars are aligned
translation....the package is the stuff made in Holywood.

Fake and expensive.

What is wrong with Pelosi?
Her mouth is moving, which always means a lie.

Posted by: dottydo | May 13, 2009 4:54 PM

If the plan is to tax health insurance benefits for employees....bye bye employees.
Enjoy your new vacation, because business will not work harder and longer to give it to Obamaland.

Vote better and vote Independent Party to rid ourselves of this entire Republican Democrat corrupt pendulum.

Posted by: dottydo | May 13, 2009 4:50 PM

“You, under your leadership and working with this Congress, have done more to promote healthcare to move it along, prevention, technology, the biomedical research, children’s health, veterans’ health, than has been done in our country since Medicare was established in the ’50s.”
Nancy Pelosi; May 13, 2009, interrupting President Obama on the WH lawn

So now Pelosi thinks Medicare dates back to the 1950s?
Will the media give her a pass on this gaffe? If Palin said it, they’d be all over her.

Posted by: lure1 | May 13, 2009 4:38 PM

Creating a "single payor" system will not increase the supply of doctors, or hospitals, or clinics. It will require hiring at least 100,000 new federal employees to process the claims, issue the checks, manage the provider network, monitor fraud, and do all the things the private insurers do.

And like any good, enormous federal program, it will become a gigantic tangle of rules and regulations. Think the IRS.

Here's another thought. Since everyone will be able to get the government program, with no limits or caps, there is absolutely no incentive to take care of yourself. So, if you decide your special lifestyle includes sitting on the couch all day eating Twinkies, weighing 400+ pounds, smoking crack cocaine and washing it down with slugs of Jack Daniels, not to worry. When you roll into the hospital for the triple bypass, liver transplant, amputation of your gangrenous foot from diabetes, and bariatric surgery, the half-million dollar tab will be picked up by Uncle Sam. Assuming you survive to discharge, you can go back home and start all over again because you are GUARANTEED coverage. You cannot be denied. So buy that big screen TV with the money you were going to spend on insurance. Your fellow taxpayers will be glad to pay the bill.

Posted by: sheehanjc | May 13, 2009 4:37 PM

"Name ONE government program that is well-managed."

Micheles shoes and the party planners.

Posted by: dottydo | May 13, 2009 4:35 PM

Name ONE government program that is well-managed.

Along with his "War-on-Wealth" - which favors a socialized re-distribution of wealth from hard-working American citizens to slugs and slackers - hussein is now embarking on a "War-Against-Healthcare".

Once again, his goal is socialization - government-controlled and restricted healthcare which will limit services to the elderly (they're closest to death, so why waste limited health services on them?) and allow slugs and slackers priority in the line for health services.

"it's good enough for government work." -- remember that phrase when you're getting your rationed allotment of healthcare from a loony-left government bureaucrat under their socialized heathcare plan.

Who will pay for this? Certainly NOT the loony-left liberal TAX CHEAT d-crats, who will "geithner" their taxes and pay nothing.

Only honest, responsible, hard-working American citizen taxpayers will be stuck paying for this latest social-welfare boondoggle - at a cost of OVER ONE TRILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR TO START! - by the marxist drug addict.


Posted by: LoonyLeft | May 13, 2009 4:25 PM

Sure, let's just ram something through in less than 90 days and hope it all works out in the future. Sort of like the stimulus package, but ten times the cost!!!!

Posted by: WildBill1 | May 13, 2009 3:45 PM

To jdcw, Don't you know that the medicare tax is paid by eveeryone, regardless of whether they pay income taxes? The way to pay for this is to remove the cap on the income agaist which medicare taxes are collected. Then the rich can contribute to the system like everyone else. Get informed or get lost.

Posted by: ThePoliticalObserver | May 13, 2009 2:41 PM

This is a joke. The government can't handle the two current healthcare programs: Medicare and the VA Healthcare systems. Now they want to "reform" the existing commercially supplied healthcare system. Until they get the AMA and the Trial Lawyers Association to relent to lower costs for doctors and lower cost for the lawsuits you are not going to be any type of reform on healthcare. They, Congress, are only throwing tomatoes at a windmill while ignoring the root causes for the systems' failure. They are going to break healthcare for the majority to try and "fix" it for 34M (11%) uninsured of the population.These guys (Congress) could and do screw up the simplist of tasks.

Posted by: staterighter | May 13, 2009 2:37 PM

This is a joke. The government can't handle the two current healthcare programs: Medicare and the VA Healthcare systems. Now they want to "reform" the existing commercially supplied healthcare system. Until they get the AMA and the Trial Lawyers Association to relent to lower costs for doctors and lower cost for the lawsuits you are not going to be any type of reform on healthcare. They, Congress, are only throwing tomatoes at a windmill while ignoring the root causes for the systems' failure. They are going to break healthcare for the majority to try and "fix" it for 34M (11%) uninsured of the population.These guys (Congress) could and do screw up the simplist of tasks.

Posted by: staterighter | May 13, 2009 2:36 PM

Our health-care system is already 50% socialized, only we haven't implemented rationing. That's why it is so expensive.

Now we will go to 100% socialized, and rationing MUST be enforced. The cost will overwhelm the Govt and expect medical care standards to drop greatly.

I will be starting a business tomorrow to promote medical tourism. Just like in Canada, the rich will pay to go somewhere to be treated to stay alive, vs. dying at home with their nationalized health-care.

Posted by: pgr88 | May 13, 2009 2:27 PM

"We don't have any excuses," Obama said. "The stars are aligned." What Mr. Obama (President) meant to say is "I have spoken."

Posted by: hvdo2001 | May 13, 2009 2:17 PM

The July 31 deadline seems absurd, particularly in view of the providers statement about making savings. There is simply not time to work out details of that or of a broader health care plan, let alone allow time for public comment. This looks like a midnight special is being planned, where not even members voting on the plan will have time to analyze it. Enough members of the congress are incapable of understanding such a complex piece of legislation without adding the difficulty of insufficient time to the unlikelihood of members casting informed votes.
There is no sensible reason for such a rushed schedule, unless it be to push something through that would be rejected if understood

Posted by: DavidTanner1 | May 13, 2009 2:06 PM

This will be a disaster but I am sure Obama and his people will find someone or something to blame it on. Maybe his dog talked him into it.

Posted by: hvdo2001 | May 13, 2009 2:03 PM

It borders on the un-Constitutional for Congress and Government employees to enjoy a taxpayer subsidized single-payer health care plan that is denied to our citizens. This is unacceptable, unfair and nothing but a two-tier health care system which is not cost effective, to say the least. Neither the Media nor the Courts have challenged this travesty.

Posted by: lionelroger | May 13, 2009 2:02 PM

Think Natasha Richardson and the great care she received under the Canadian National Healthcare System. The infrastructure sucks.

The only thing getting stimulated is the presses over at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

King Obama has spoken. If you want "free health care" go to Cuba and see their system. Yep it's cheap and relies upon American know-how to develop pharmaceuticals and new surgical techniques.

The only thing that King Obama is doing is killing innovation and ambition, by increasing the burdens of taxation on those for those who choose not to be ambitious or improve their lot in life.

Instead of a "snack-tax" to pay for this, how about a tax on gaming systems?

The biggest game is the Democrats. find a way and they'll tax you.

We need a new government and out with Pelosi, Reid and Obama.

New elections, please.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | May 13, 2009 1:56 PM

Health care needs to be offered to everyone. It can be taxed or paid for in many ways and the health care workers need to be regulated. Insurance companies are the biggest rip offs. We need single payer coverage and in order to get it to run well, the last thing that anyone shouild do is listen to the biwigs and lobbyists from the insurance companies.

Posted by: glenglish | May 13, 2009 1:53 PM

"Maybe then you will finally understand that health care is not a privilege for the wealthy, but a right for every tax-paying citizen in this country."

Posted by: jdoyle1 | May 13, 2009 1:08 PM
What about those 42% that don't pay income tax?

Posted by: jdcw | May 13, 2009 1:52 PM

"Obama began the week meeting with health care industry executives who pledged to voluntarily reduce the annual growth of health care costs by 1.5 percentage points, saving an estimated $2 trillion over the next decade."

Mr. President, if you believe this is going to happen, so will I, LOL. Anyway, you ought to be a comedian.

Posted by: hvdo2001 | May 13, 2009 1:35 PM

Yonkers, New York
13 May 2009

Let's not beat around the bush here. President Obama probably deliberately avoided inviting Republican Rep. Roy Blunt, chairman of the so-called House Health Care Solutions Group, knowing beforehand that Rep. Blunt would only have tried to torpedo the White House meeting on reforming health care,

President Obama has not forgotten that all House Republicans, 177 of them, voted a resounding "No!" to the $787 Billion Obama Stimulus Package.

It is possible, nay probble, that when the Obama bill on Health Care Reform goes to the House for a vote in July, all Republicans there will vote another resounding "No!" to it.

It is more than abundantly clear now that Republican lawmakers agree with media personality Rush Limbaugh who, unabashedly, loud and clear, has declared that he wants President Barack Obama to FAIL!

Rep. Roy Blunt's alleged complaint at not having been included in that recent critical meeting on Health Care at the White House thus appears to be purely hypocritical.

Mariano Patalinjug

Posted by: MPatalinjug | May 13, 2009 1:33 PM

Obama, Pelosi, Reid, et al are going to take over our health care?

I think I'm going to be sick.

Posted by: Jerzy | May 13, 2009 1:31 PM

We need more printers in order to print more money to pay for all this.

Posted by: hvdo2001 | May 13, 2009 1:28 PM

To debmires:

Maybe you don't understand the concept of universal coverage - this will include seniors, and an overhaul of Medicare as well.

To conservative right-wing maniacs:

Maybe you've never been outside this country (I'd say 99.9% of you have NOT) but it would be worth a trip to a Canadian or British hospital to see how serious nations care for their citizens.

To those who oppose nationalized health care:

I do hope that either you, or your children, contract a serious illness, for which your insurance company denies you coverage, and you suffer the physical pain, economic anguish, and emotional destruction that the lack of health insurance/coverage afflicts upon so many people. Maybe then you will finally understand that health care is not a privilege for the wealthy, but a right for every tax-paying citizen in this country.

Posted by: jdoyle1 | May 13, 2009 1:08 PM

Republicans, why wouldn't you guys just shut up and get lost. You have brought us to where we are today and you have the guts to criticize anybody in this country again? Why did you not do all the things your are pointing out now in the 8 years you ruled the white house and senate and even congress. When will you psycos get the message that NO one listen to you any more? JUST GET LOST!

Posted by: nditebeck | May 13, 2009 1:05 PM


Besides being a congressman and want to collect and spend lot of money, you want to be a“HEALTH CARE EXPERT” and pass the Government’s Health Care Bill

Then get answers to questions like the one listed below before writing the bill.

If anyone is going to save the cost of health care, it will be Hospitals, doctors/surgeons and other health care providers. Now Congressman want to decide who should get , What & how. Then:
*Should a person over 70 be allowed to get CAT scan, major brain tumor surgery?
Hip replacements, heart-valve replacements, bypass surgery etc?
**What if his blood vessel disease or other major diseases mean he'll probably live only a few more years. Do we treat them? Cost-effective treatment alone is acceptable?
***Will everyone gets the same coverage, or should the rich people who have contributed more into the system get, for example, access to expensive but potentially lifesaving treatments?
Do we allow rich people use their resources/insurance to supplement the cost for major treatments here or abroad? Do we allow and pay for treatments outside the country, if not why not?
****If profit is controlled from the healthcare system, will the cost savings be outweighed by the lack of the profit motive?
*****Should "Overall Outcome" & cost determine treatments particularly
people with less number of productive years of life left-over?
******Who has the right to determine what kind of treatments should be given:
government, Patient, doctor or society as a whole?
*******Are socialized medicine like Europe, India, China, Russia etc good for the major health care developments such as drugs, surgical techniques and medical devices? If we do control them what happened to the most top rated medical treatments of this country?
*********Finally, if healthcare be a socialized item, what about other life-saving
needs such as food, housing? Do we control that also in a cost-effective manner?

Posted by: madayilnair | May 13, 2009 1:03 PM

We do not need the government interfering
in our live by nationalizing health care.
Before it is too late kindly read "The Ten Myths of American Health Care-A citizens Guide" and its solutions by Sally C. Pipes. There is an extensive bibliography after each chapter.

Posted by: klopperjm | May 13, 2009 12:54 PM

And when does he start barnstorming the country in AF1 announcing doom and gloom and the sky is falling to get the ignorant masses, ACORN and the SEIU demonstrating for this disaster so that Pelosi tells everybody to vote and there's no time to read it................

Posted by: sandynh | May 13, 2009 12:43 PM

Doctors and medical staff will not work for the Government.
Who doesn't know Obamaland is broke?

Posted by: dottydo | May 13, 2009 12:35 PM

Independent Party is rising fast.

If they pass anything more for Obama, they are all looking at the same soup lines we are all in.

Legislate the Insurance company money sharking, and leave the people and their doctors alone.

Posted by: dottydo | May 13, 2009 12:27 PM

The House will be easy. It's the cache of moderates in the Senate that will dictate when reform gets passed and what it will look like.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | May 13, 2009 12:04 PM


Posted by: dgb450 | May 13, 2009 11:57 AM

This is unreal. Fix the medicare problems first which add 25% to the total cost of healthcare in this country today.

Mediare is a disaster. And this is the national plan?


Posted by: debmries | May 13, 2009 11:41 AM

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