James Pethokoukis

Obama’s healthcare informercial

June 25, 2009

This exchange was not good for Team Obama:

Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist and researcher at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said that elites often propose health care solutions that limit options for the general public, secure in the knowledge that if they or their loves ones get sick, they will be able to afford the best care available, even if it’s not provided by insurance.

The CBO takes away, the CBO gives

June 23, 2009

Just as a Congressional Budget Office estimate of the cost of healthcare reform ($1.6 trillion over ten years) threw a spanner into the works of that effort, a CBO study of cap-and-trade costs ($175 year in 2020) may have given some oomph to the energy plan which is coming to the floor fo the House. Still, the Senate is going to be a quagmire …

Why Obamacare may be flatlining

June 22, 2009

“I need a crash cart, stat!” The political prospects for major U.S. healthcare reform have taken a decided turn for the worse in recent days (at least from the point of view of many Democrats). And you don’t need to be some totally plugged-in Washington insider to understand that.

Obama’s healthcare troubles

June 22, 2009

I think this bit from First Read echoes what I have been saying:

So let’s get this straight: Barack Obama won last year’s presidential election by seven percentage points (53%-46%) campaigning, in part, for some form of universal health care; his party is about to have 60 votes in the Senate; polls show the country is receptive to overhauling health care; and the president’s approval rating is between 56-60%. But Senate Democrats, like Dianne Feinstein, now say that Obama might not have the votes to pass health care? “I think there’s a lot of concern in the Democratic caucus,” she said on Sunday, per the AP.

The day healthcare reform died?

June 18, 2009

At least as envisioned by the most gung-ho LibDem proponents. Ezra Klein gives it to them straight after viewing the latest Senate Finance Committee proposal:

Democrat infighting on healthcare

June 18, 2009

I think this sums up the centrist-liberal divide on healthcare (via The Hill):

There is concern among centrists in the caucus that the draft bill, to be released Friday, will reflect some of the more liberal ideas in the caucus, although leadership has already rejected the idea of a single-payer system. It is being put together by the House Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees.  “You have a bunch of crazy liberal chairs and their crazy liberal staffers, and they want to lay down a marker,” said a senior Democratic aide.

What can Obama really get done this year?

June 18, 2009

The always insightful Dan Clifton of Strategas Research gives his three cents:

1) $700 to $800 BN Healthcare Reform passes later this year with a major focus on Medicaid expansion and some cuts to providers;

Obama throws Kennedy healthcare bill under the bus

June 16, 2009

From ABC News:

This is not the Administration’s bill,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement following the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of Sen. Ted Kennedy’s health care reform legislation, “and it’s not even the final Senate Committee bill.

Healthcare reform may cost $4 trillion over ten years

June 16, 2009

Here is another analysis of the Kennedy health plan, from consultancy HSI:

1) The plan lowers the uninsured significantly, to less than 1% of the population, but not without a cost of over four trillion dollars over 10 years.

VAT attack on healthcare

June 16, 2009

Ezra Klein notices that the value-added tax option to pay for healthcare reform is still floating around. Not a good idea, he says: