Category Archives: Healthcare

Healthcare Reforms – Tweet Update from July 24, 2009

[Tag Healthcare Reform, Healthcare, Obamanomics, Payers, Insurers, 2009, Taxes]

    The Congressional Budget Office estimates that #Healthcarespending will reach 48% of the GDP by 2050 and is already 16% today2 minutes ago from TweetDeck


    US seems to be paying its Doctors more than twice Europe because of the costs Doctors have to bear from the Insurance Companies #Healthcarehalf a minute ago from TweetDeck


    One-sixth of the American Pop remains uninsured #Healthcare3 minutes ago from TweetDeck


    At $12700 per family, Employer Sponsored Benefits are getting costlier for Employers and they continue to cut back on coverage#Healthcare3 minutes ago from TweetDeck

    Have we solved the problems of the Blue Dog Coalition by proposing to pay Medicare +5% in rural areas to remove disparity#Healthcare7 minutes ago from TweetDeck

    Obamanomics? :: Tweets from the Market – July 24, 2009: Do remember to va.. http://digg.com/u19Lex @zyaada @zyakaira7 minutes ago from twitterfeed

    Senate is not going to be able to vote on the bill before the recess and the House does not want to vote without knowing the Senate’s mind10 minutes ago from TweetDeck

    The surtax slab to be applied for the tax has now gone up to those earning $1m and more #Healthcare10 minutes ago from TweetDeck

    House leaders have proposed a surtax on high-income Americans to generate $544 bn to pay for the cost of the $1 tr, 10 year bill #Healthcare11 minutes ago from TweetDeck

    Many House Democrats are also anxiously awaiting word from the Senate Finance Committee over how that panel will propose to pay #Healthcare12 minutes ago from TweetDeck

    On Healthcare: Are we closer to solving the problem for the Blue Dog coalition by offering Medicare+5% to reduce disparities in rural areas?

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Dems want higher tax on wealthy for health care – MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — House Democrats intend to pay for their health-care reform plan with higher taxes on wealthy Americans.

A tax on the wealthy is the “best way” to raise money for the overhaul, Rep. Charles Rangel, the New York Democrat who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told reporters late Friday.

The House Democratic proposal, which includes a government-run insurance plan, is expected to be formally unveiled on Monday.

It faces an uphill battle, as even many Democrats are concerned about the political repercussion of higher taxes.

House Republican leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the tax plan would be a “job-killer.”

“House Democrats have finally made clear that they will fund their government takeover of health care by raising taxes on hard-working American families and small businesses in the midst of one of the worst recessions in recent memory. With unemployment nearing double digits nationwide, the last thing we need is a massive tax hike that will punish small businesses and cost even more American jobs,” Boehner said in a statement.

President Obama promised during the campaign not to raise taxes on Americans earning less than $250,000 per year.

Obama was heading back to Washington over the weekend from a foreign trip that included the Group of 8 summit in Italy. He is expected to wade into the health-care debate upon his return.

Progress on health-care legislation has stalled over the central issue of who will pay for the changes.

Rangel told reporters that the tax could start in 2011.

Married couples making $350,000 would have to pay a surtax of 1%. The surtax would increase for higher-income families.

Demos want higher tax on wealthy for health care – MarketWatch.

Also, This Monday: GS reporting blockbuster profits free from Treasury pain..Consumer Indice ( Univ of Michigan) continue to report below average customer satisfaction from healthcare..Will the Electronic Health records ever becoma a significant reality? How much time will it take?..Healthcare payers have successfully battled physician and treatment costs with dial in help for new and existing stress ailments and ordinary diseases.

The cost of Healthcare reform | Washington Post

President Obama’s plan to expand health coverage to the uninsured is likely to dig the nation deeper into debt unless policymakers adopt politically painful controls on spending, such as sharp reductions in payments to doctors, hospitals and other providers, congressional budget analysts said yesterday.

While popular measures such as increasing preventive care, expanding the use of electronic medical records and rewarding doctors for choosing more effective treatments have the potential to lower costs, “little reliable evidence exists about exactly how to implement those types of changes,” Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas W. Elmendorf said in a letter to Senate budget leaders.

“Without meaningful reforms, the substantial costs of many current proposals . . . would be much more likely to worsen the long-run budget outlook than to improve it,” he said.

The pronouncement from the influential budget office is likely to complicate the arduous task of enacting comprehensive changes this year. Democratic lawmakers, struggling to reach consensus, will lose support unless they produce a package that has the potential to lower the nation’s spiraling debt. But hospitals and drugmakers already are balking at proposals that would cut their federal payments, including a plan Obama unveiled last weekend to trim more than $300 billion from Medicare and Medicaid.

In recent days, Obama has embraced some of the very ideas the CBO advocates, including the proposal to reduce Medicare payments to spur hospitals and other providers to be more efficient. Obama also has said he is open to empowering a body outside Congress to slash payments to providers if they cannot cut costs on their own.

Both ideas could produce long-term savings, CBO said yesterday, and administration officials welcomed the report. “Many of the policies CBO believes could reduce costs in the long term have been proposed by the administration,” said Kenneth Baer, spokesman for White House budget director Peter Orszag.

But those ideas have yet to gain traction on Capitol Hill, where some influential Democrats have ruled out the notion of giving up control over Medicare payments.

Cutting costs will require “real action,” said  Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), the senior Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. The CBO report “strips away the political posturing and gets down to the basic fact that it will require alternatives that are generally unacceptable to the people who have been putting forward health-care plans.”

In addition to pressuring hospitals and doctors to reduce costs, Elmendorf suggested “significantly limiting” the tax-free treatment of health coverage that millions of Americans obtain through employers. Both “approaches could directly lower federal spending on health care and indirectly lower private spending on it as well,” he wrote.

Key Democrats in the Senate, including Finance Committee Chairman  Max Baucus(D-Mont.), are advocating a new tax on the most generous employer-sponsored health benefits. But the White House is opposed to the idea, which has the potential to ensnare the middle-class workers Obama vowed to protect from tax increases.

Yesterday, Baucus said committee members have resisted tax increases that are unrelated to health care. Aides said Baucus is trying to keep the 10-year cost of his reform package under $1 trillion, and to cover the cost primarily with spending cuts rather than tax increases.

“This process is hard. . . . You submit something to CBO, you get a score back, and then you’ve got to go talk to everybody about what the changes are that you might want to make to get the cost down, and that’s really what’s going on,” said  Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

Senate aides said Baucus had been looking at options that could push the price past $1.6 trillion over 10 years, a figure that startled some Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee, who met yesterday to discuss their options.

“It is clear there have got to be changes made to make the whole package affordable,” Conrad said.

As lawmakers grappled with the challenge of paying for a major expansion of coverage, three of their former colleagues — all former Senate majority leaders — finalized what they say is a blueprint for how to achieve the goal without busting the budget. Democrat Thomas A. Daschle and Republicans Robert Dole and Howard Baker will release a comprehensive proposal today for covering every American without putting the federal government deeper in debt.

The three advocate a mix of tax increases, spending cuts and new mandates guaranteed to annoy nearly every major player in the health-care debate, including a mandate on businesses to contribute to health insurance costs and a tax on some benefits provided through the workplace.

via <a href=’http://ow.ly/evVZ’&gt; Have pity on the Congressional Budget </a>

Obama on Health Care – NYTimes.com

After months of insisting he would leave the details to Congress, President Obama has concluded that he must exert greater control over the health care debate and is preparing an intense push for legislation that will include speeches, town-hall-style meetings and much deeper engagement with lawmakers, senior White House officials say.

Mindful of the failures of former President Bill Clinton, whose intricate proposal for universal care collapsed on Capitol Hill 15 years ago, Mr. Obama until now had charted a different course, setting forth broad principles and concentrating on bringing disparate factions — doctors, insurers, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, labor unions — to the negotiating table.

But Mr. Obama has grown concerned that he is losing the debate over certain policy prescriptions he favors, like a government-run insurance plan to compete with the private sector, said one Democrat familiar with his thinking. With Congress beginning a burst of work on the measure, top advisers say, the president is determined to make certain the final bill bears his stamp.

via NY Times – The World’s favourite newspaper