Yesterday the President unveiled his plan for health care reform, continuing a drive to make changes in the system and using recent massive premium increases as a political lever to drive that change. Many had expected the President to play small ball here, but the President has gone big, essentially using the Senate bill as a template for his proposal. He has modified the proposal with an eye to keeping House Democrats on the yes side of this question, changing the “Cadillac plan tax” as well as giving additional financial aid to the states. I have posted the President’s summary below, as well as the daily briefing yesterday by press secretary Robert Gibbs. The President challenged Republicans to post their “plan” for health care reform on the internet as the jockeying in advance of Thursday’s summit begins. The President left out the “public option”, sure to cause some discomfort on the left. Read the Washington Post comparison of the Obama plan with the Senate plan here. Is reconciliation in some form coming down the pike? And for those who say that health care costs are not exploding, or that folks are saying the “sky is falling” in order to pass a plan. From the Wall Street Journal:
On this point, politicians on both sides are indisputably correct. On a per capita basis, health care spending increased by a factor of six between 1965 and 2005, after adjusting for inflation. In 2008, the latest year for which figures other than projections are available, total health care spending in the United States was $2.34 trillion (16.2 percent of GDP), up 4.4 percent from the $2.24 trillion spent the previous year. By contrast, in 1960, total health spending accounted for only 5.2 percent of GDP. Since then, health spending has more than tripled as a percentage of GDP. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecasts that, if present trends continue, health care spending will account for 25 percent of GDP by 2025, 37 percent by 2050, and 49 percent by 2082.