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From Obama, High Hopes for Reform Legislation

By Michael D. Shear
President Obama expressed optimism today that two of his signature efforts -- health care reform and energy legislation -- will succeed in part because of new dynamics involving industries which once were opponents of action.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says that climate control legislation and health care reform are no longer as threatened as they once were by entrenched interests.

"For the first time, utility companies and corporate leaders are joining, not opposing, environmental advocates and labor leaders to create a new system of clean energy initiatives that will help unleash a new era of growth and prosperity," he said.

In health care, Obama hailed the decision of several industry leaders to declare that they are willing to play their part in reducing health care costs as part of a broader effort by government to reform the system.

Obama stood next to six of the industry leaders in the White House last week to announce their cooperation -- a stark difference from the battles that former president Bill Clinton once waged with the health care titans.

"Coupled with comprehensive reform, their efforts could help to save our nation more than $2 trillion in the next ten years -- and save hardworking families $2,500 each in the coming years," he said.

But it's far from clear whether the détente that Obama brags about for both issues will last once the legislation moves closer to imposing direct costs on the industries they affect.

So far, for example, the debate over reforming health care has not confronted the divisive question about who should bear the costs of expanded coverage -- a question that could yet spark opposition from the groups which stood next to Obama last week.

And the energy legislation in some areas falls short of the more dramatic changes that Obama supported as a candidate, and which could yet prompt squeals of anger and opposition from a variety of industries.

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 16, 2009; 6:12 AM ET
Categories:  Health Care  
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Comments

When it comes to O'Bomba-Nation's idiocies;

this guy says it for me!:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/OpEd-Contributor/The-President-is-missing-the-long-term-effects-of-his-policies-41410532.html

*Sigh*, What COULD have been! :-(

Posted by: SAINT---The | May 18, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm deeply concerned that the Republicans will derail universal health care and that Americans of all ages, but especially children, will suffer and die needlessly because of Republicans dishonesty, greed, and complete lack of compassion.

Posted by: AmericanDemocracy | May 16, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Republicans and their talking heads are wringing their hands over the issue of health care, I wonder why they don't want people to have access to health care? Why shouldn't Americans have the same access to medical care that we as tax payers pay for them? They are saying that the government will be making decisions on health care , what doctors a person has and what treatment they will receive. WOW, that might be a lot better than insurance companies making that decision.

Recently I gained health insurance after going three years without it. (I paid $500.00 a month for COBRA insurance until it ran out) In those three years, I financed my own medical cost. I was managing three chronic medical conditions, paying for all lab cost, tests and prescriptions. After seeing my new physician for the first time she wrote prescriptions for medication I had been on for at least a year. Medication I had been paying for myself mind you. The pharmacy was able to fill the three cheapest medications with no problems. However, when it came to filling the prescription for my blood pressure medication the insurance company refused to pay. The explanation was that it was too expensive (95.00 a month) and I have to start taking cheaper medication first. My doctor didn't make that decision, I didn't make that decision. I have been paying cash for a year for this medication. Insurance companies have been making the decisions on health care all along. I wonder why Republicans don't talk about that.

Posted by: catmomtx | May 16, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Leon Charlap: Well said-this could not be more clear. The problem is not that arguments defy logic-the problem is that Corporate America owns Congress, much to the detriment of America's needs.

Posted by: lionelroger | May 16, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Myth - "It will be very expensive to get good health to everyone."

Fact - Actually there's a way we can have better universal health care at no more than we are now paying (see 5. below). Here are the facts (cf. www.pnhp.org):

1. We waste $100 - $200 Billion a year on the high overhead of insurance companies.
2. We waste 200 - $400 Billion a year on doctors filling out forms for insurance companies.
3. I don't know the compliance cost of patients fighting with insurance companies, but it must also be in the 100's of Billions.
4. We pay the highest drug cost in the world to drug companies that spend twice as much on profit and three times as much on "marketing" as they spend on research. This is about another $100 Billion each year.
5. Because of the above, we could give Super Medicare (few limitations, no co-pays, no deductibles and complete drug, dental & mental coverage) to everyone at no more cost per person than we are now paying.

Other countries with single payer systems get better health care as measured by all the basic public health statistics and they do it at less than half the cost per person. If we build on our rotten system, we will get a health care system with rotten foundations.

Len Charlap
Princeton, NJ

Posted by: lensch | May 16, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

PRES. OBAMA - PELOSI IS A LIAR

TAKE AWAY SS AND MEDICARE BENEFITS FROM THE SENIORS AND THE ILL PEOPLE IN USA AND GIVE ALL THE MONEY TO THE AUTO INDUSTRY, BANKS AND LET THE CC CORP. HAVE A FIELD DAY!!!!

ARE YOU A BUSH IN DISGUISE AND IS HE YOUR CHOICE AS A TEACHER FOR BEING THE SECOND WORSE PRES. WE WILL HAVE TO LIVE WITH?

I DO NOT BELIEVE ONE WORD OR PROMISE ANY OF YOU POLITICAL PERSONS SPIT OUT OF YOUR MOUTHS! YOU HAVE YOUR BEST OF OUR WORLD. WE PAY DEARLY TO SURVIVE. I WISH YOU ALL CUSHINGS DISEASE!

Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | May 16, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I think we all have high hopes. i think jimmy carter was great she is great watch and upload funny videos

Posted by: roverfind | May 16, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

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