Obama Champions Health Care Reform

By: Liam Martin Email
By: Liam Martin Email

Costs -- that's been the key issue surrounding President Barack Obama's push for reform, with some saying the pricetag is simply too high.

"We're looking at slightly under a trillion dollars to slightly over a trillion dollars," said Wendy Block, with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

While the Obama administration stresses the House bill could actually cut costs in the long run.

Here's the breakdown of that plan:

House Bill Basics

-Medicare-like "Public Option"
-Make Health Insurance Mandatory
-Require Companies To Provide Health Insurance

-Price Tag: $1 trillion

How To Pay For It:

-New Taxes on Wealthiest Households
-Penalty Fees For Companies Not Providing Coverage
-Cost-cutting Agreements With Hospitals/Pharmaceuticals

The total savings from those measures? About $850 billion -- a bit short, in other words. And business owners say the effects of mandated coverage could be devastating -- particularly in cash strapped Michigan.

"What this proposal would do is ask individuals and businesses to dig deeper into their pockets and pull out more of their hard-earned money to pay for this proposal," Block said. "And I'm afraid that they don't have those dollars available."

But some members of the medical community say mandatory insurance is a must. William Strampel, dean of the the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, says Americans are already paying for the estimated 47 million uninsured living in the country.

"They're getting coverage. It might not be the most effective, or the most efficient coverage, but they're getting it, and everybody else is paying for it," Strampel said.

Provide a public option and mandate coverage, he adds, and both hospitals and taxpayers will be better off.

A point president Obama will be sure to stress Wednesday night.

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  • by Anonymous on Jul 24, 2009 at 03:05 PM
    The obama plan is like anyother government program. It is bound to fail.
  • by Tina Location: Michigan on Jul 23, 2009 at 04:33 PM
    I back President Obama 100% on Health Care Reform. Our medical bills are ridiculous and my husband and I only have medical coverage, we cannot afford to go to the dentist or get the glasses that we need, because we do not have the extra monies. We have a 19 year old in college that has no insurance and we cannot afford the bills that keep piling up. Something should have been done when "The Clinton's" talked about Health Care Change. Obama is right and the Republican's just care about the dollar's that come out of their pockets not the low and middle class. It is just a shame that they have to put so much doubt in people's minds by stating that the reform will only hurt us and not admitting that they have very selfish concerns for themselves and not the people of the United States that voted for them. I watch the news in the morning and evening and last week I heard one of the Rep Senators comment that it is not fair to tax only the rich. How is it fair to tax the poor?
  • by Anonymous on Jul 23, 2009 at 12:28 PM
    The only organization that our government should be running is our military. None of these socialist programs was mentioned in the constitution or any of the admendents.
  • by Janet Neilson Location: Windsor, ON on Jul 23, 2009 at 11:31 AM
    Insuring everyone will not be cheaper for taxpayers or the country. Currently some young people go without health insurance because they're healthy and have other priorities. If all these people do is pay to go to the doctor once a year, it's easy to see that paying for insurance for each of these years would cost a great deal more, even if a few of them incur some unusual expense that needs to be covered. Further, many who are currently uninsured will be nearly impossible to penalize for forgoing insurance if they're low income and don't file tax returns. Mandated coverage won't affect them. And finally, in every jurisdiction where insurance mandates have been put in place costs have skyrocketed, not been brought under control. The price tag for those who are insured increases even further. The fact is that taxpayers will be funding those who are uninsured whether or not there is mandated coverage. Stopping the mandates, though, will keep these costs down.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 23, 2009 at 08:31 AM
    Lets tax the rich and have htem pay for everything. This does not compute. They became rich because they worked hard. If the government quit subsidizing these socialist programs, they would be better. Health care cost would go down because their dollars would be tighter. Doctors would be willing to reduce their charges since they do not need to deal with red tape. The list goes on why the government should not get into things.
  • by Thomas H Cooper Location: Mason MI 48854 on Jul 22, 2009 at 08:15 PM
    President Obama's speech was filled with propaganda and he should spend his time getting this country back to basics and not try to turn us into a Socialist Republic. Private industry can do a better of business than the Government. Instead of answering questions he just filled the time with more reteric. my doctors communicate with each other faster than I can go from one office to the other. I agree with the previous contributor.
  • by Ray Location: Jackson on Jul 22, 2009 at 08:09 PM
    I think that the universal health care plan would be disastrous for citizens and businesses in Michigan and the whole U.S. It's way too expensive and would allow the government to determine who gets treatment and who doesn't. And just look at how well they have run Medicare and Social Security!
  • by Dr. No on Jul 22, 2009 at 06:30 PM
    When the government starts throwing numbers around of what a program is going to cost you may as well triple it and then you have a good start. If you are 50 or older you have heard the arguements for how to make social security and medicare solvent. What our politicians have done is make it worse by adding to our deficit through pork barrel spending and STEALING from these funds knowing they would never be returned. From one election to the next over the last 4 decades we have been promised and lied to in the same breath. When is enough enough? Listen very carefully to the promises in the upcoming election cycle and vote. Let's start with a clean slate and get rid of the incumbents of both parties. Elitists need not apply. Government is a business and we need honest business leaders.
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