11 Observations on Obama's Health Care Speech

8) He then turned to the 46 million uninsured and got major applause when he said, "We are a people who look out for one another. That is what makes this the United States of America."

He made a big pitch for a "Health Insurance Exchange" which will be like the program for federal employees where they can choose from a list of insurance plans approved by the government -- and immediately said that "one of these options needs to be a public option that will give people a broader range of choices and inject competition into the health care market."

Comment: This is the big sticking point with Republicans and something the AMA said last week they were opposed to. However, the AMA has tried to back away from that stance a little bit and today there was moderate applause for this idea. He also threw another bone to this audience by saying the annual process for setting payments for doctors -- the Sustainable Growth Rate -- needs to be reformed.

9) But he got his biggest applause for the following paragraph: "Insurance companies have expressed support for the idea of covering the uninsured, and I welcome their willingness to engage constructively in the reform debate. But what I refuse to do is simply create a system where insurance companies have more customers on Uncle Sam's dime, but still fail to meet their responsiblities. That is why we need to end the practice of denying coverage on the basis of preexisting conduitions. The days of cherry-picking who to cover and who to deny -- those days are over."

Comment: The thunderous applause here underlined that physicians and insurance companies are mostly adversaries. So doctors like the idea of insurance reforms as long as it doesn't affect their income -- i.e., better to take from insurance companies than from us.

Obama then re-told the story of his mother fighting for insurance coverage for her cancer treatment.

10) Most of the rest of the speech detailed how he proposes to save nearly $1 trillion to pay for his reform ideas.

Comment: This was a long and complicated section that will be hotly debated by congress and policy experts. He did say that this savings would be independent of estimates by the CBO because he knows that the CBO will likely not be able to make firm estimates on savings from prevention and health information technology.

11) He then closed with a rhetorical flourish -- "That is the health care system we can build. That is the future within our reach" -- and left to generous applause.

Dr. Timothy Johnson is ABC News medical editor.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7845527. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7845527. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7845527. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7845527. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7845527. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7845527. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7845527. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7845527. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7845527. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7845527.
Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...