The Morning’s Health Summit

February 25, 2010

President Barack Obama’s foremost task this morning was to be the host of a little friendly get together to discuss the future of national health care. Republicans, democrats, doctors, and staff gathered to discuss American health care from all sides of the issue. The president has been pushing legislation that will put aside $634 billion for a health-care reserve fund since he was elected into presidency. If the legislation is not passed, the Council of Economic Advisors predicts by 2019, 54 million Americans will be uninsured if our nation’s health care is not reformed. Obama calls attention to backward standards we hold doctors to that calls for quantity rather than quality–too many times state and local money has been put aside for health care with no avail.

The official White House Web site reports that we currently spend more than $2 trillion a year on health care and would need to invest an additional $100 billion a year to support those who are struggling to afford health care. According to the U.S. government, burden of medical bills forces families into bankruptcy, businesses to failure, which in turn harms our country’s infrastructure. The new plan would not harm our currently national deficit, but rather secure it. “Health insurance reform would be fully paid for over 10 years, and it would not add one penny to the deficit,” the WH Web site states.

What are people saying?

Fox News reports that the conversation was very heated concerning the expected costs of the proposed plan. During the meeting, republicans had the chance to “tell the president to his face that he should start from scratch” even when republicans only had 24 minutes to talk, compared to the 56 minutes democrats got to speak.

The news source stuck in a statistic amidst reports from the summit that states health care is no longer the top priority of most Americans: “Forty-six percent of Americans say creating jobs should be the government’s top priority, according to a Zogby International-University of Texas Science Center poll. Only 18 percent said health care reform was the top issue on their list.”

Republicans want to focus on:
1. funding high-risk insurance pools those who have been denied health care because of existing medical issues
2. expand health savings accounts
3. allowing people to get out-of-state coverage, if cheaper
4. capping malpractice judgments to reduce the practice of defensive medicine
5. helping small businesses afford coverage
6. supporting states in trying to control costs

Democrats want to focus on:
1. helping people who are struggling with costs of health care coverage
2. commit federal dollars to provide coverage for all

CNN reports that the six-hour summit was crammed with a lot of back and forth remarks from both parties. Yet both parties agree that “costs have to be contained.”

Republicans suggest:
1. The government should be able by way of disease prevention and management and cutting down on fraud
2. Simplifying all paperwork that comes with each patient = will save time, money, discrepancies in the end
3. Senator McCain said the way democrats have been proposing legislation has been “produced behind closed doors … with unsavory deals.”
4. Wants the bill–27,000 pages–to be thrown away. Restart proposal.

Democrats believe:
1. They have done too much to start over
2. Restrictions on people with Medicare will help situation

NEW IMPROVEMENTS… PDF download, here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/summary-presidents-proposal.pdf

Frequently Asked Questions about Health Insurance Reform [The White House]
Dems, GOP Clash Over Controlling Rising Health Care Costs [Fox News]
Obama calls for overhaul of U.S. health care system [CNN]
Spirited debate unfolds at health care summit [CNN]

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