February 23, 2010

I was out all day and missed most of the reaction to Obama's suggested health-care plan. (Although I did learn from the Washington Post that this reheated version of the Senate bill is the White House team's idea of "going big." Heaven help us, I'd hate to see what "going small" looks like.)

From jumping around the blogs tonight, here's a roundup of some of the more interesting stuff.

From Think Progress:

The Obama plan maintains key elements of the Senate proposal but also incorporates stronger anti-fraud provisions and allows the federal government to review insurance rate hikes. On a call with reporters Pfeiffer insisted that the administration has not determined “on which path to move forward with”, but the bill’s substance suggests that Obama is hoping to bypass a prolonged-Senate debate and use the reconciliation process to fix the Senate bill and convince reluctant House progressives to pass the Senate legislation. “The American people deserve up or down vote on health reform,”Pfeiffer said. “We can get an up or down vote if opposition decides to take extraordinary steps of filibustering health reforms.”

But it’s unclear if progressive House members will embrace the new compromise. While the bill addresses House members’ affordability concerns, increases the excise tax thresholds and completely closes the donut hole in Medicare Part D, the legislation does not include a public option, retains the Senate bill’s state-based exchanges and keeps the start date for most reforms at 2014. (Obama’s plan also retains the Senate’s abortion compromise and most other core provisions).

And I know you're dying to read the reaction from the National Right to Life committee, right?

In its statement, the National Right to Life committee said that the president’s proposal “limits rights of Americans of all ages to use their own money to save their own lives.”

Burke Balch, the director of the National Right to Life Committee’s Powell Center of Ethics, likened the president’s plan to imposing a limit on the cost of restaurant meals.

“It is as though a government, concerned about the high cost of restaurant food, imposed a price limit of $5 per meal, and then asserted that for those who like their restaurant food, nothing will force them to change their eating habits,” the statement said. “The reality, of course, is that restaurants would be unable to afford to offer meals at prices below the cost of their ingredients. Consequently, about all restaurant-goers would be able to get would be fast food.”

Yes, because unlike health care, it's not as if you couldn't buy food and cook it yourself. (Try not to think about it, it'll just make your head hurt.)

Lambert, as usual, cuts to the chase:

NOTE: And this part is truly weird. You know the 31 million number that keeps getting tossed around? I always that was due mostly to Medicaid expansion --- moving the opportunity to get medical care after losing all your assets, like your house, up the income ladder -- but no. Right in the first paragraph:

"The President's [cough] Option" -- sorry, "Proposal" -- makes insurance more affordable by providing the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history, reducing premium costs for tens of millions of families and small business owners who are priced out of coverage today. This helps over 31 million Americans afford health care who do not get it today – and makes coverage more affordable for many more.

It's a tax cut!? Are Republican talking points truly the only ponies left in the stable?

I'm not even gonna try to gild that particular lily.

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