James Pethokoukis

Obama’s bad healthcare day

June 16, 2009

First, Obama gets booed by the doctors at the AMA conference. Then the Congressional Budget Office prices the Kennedy-Dood healthcare bill at $1 trillion over ten years but only covers an additional 16 million people. The analysis does not include an expansion of Medicaid — which, of course, would mean more people would be covered but at a higher cost. Drip, drip, drip …

Obama vs. Obama on healthcare

June 15, 2009

Obama today, in front of the AMA: “What are not legitimate concerns are those being put forward claiming a public option is somehow a Trojan horse for a single-payer system. ”

Will Obama fire his accountants?

June 12, 2009

Some Democrats want the costs of healthcare reform to be judged by the White House Office of Management and Budget, not the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. As The Hill explains: “This unusual option could give Democratic leaders hundreds of billions of additional dollars to work with as they draft their plans. But Republicans would call it an accounting gimmick and a huge spending loophole.” It doesn’t need to be said, but I will say it: If the Bush White House would have tried a stunt like this, the Dems and the MSM media would have screamed.

How to pay for healthcare

June 9, 2009

Capitol Hill watcher Pete Davis gives the breakdown:

Health care reform financing options estimated by JCT. Yesterday, June 2 Joint Committee on Taxation “very preliminary” revenue estimates were obtained by the Bureau of National Affairs showing the following 10 year revenue increases:

Is healthcare bill faltering?

June 6, 2009

This from Robert Reich: “I’ve poked around Washington today, talking with friends on the Hill who confirm the worst: Big Pharma and Big Insurance are gaining ground in their campaign to kill the public option in the emerging health care bill  …”

Obama moves to adopt McCain healthcare idea

June 5, 2009

Howard Gleckman over at TaxVox blogs that Obama seems to be moving toward capping the $246 billion employer-sponsored insurance tax exlcusion, an idea he ripped McCain for during the presidential campaign:

Study: Democratic healthcare plan could cost $300 billion a year

June 4, 2009

I just attended a healthcare symposium at the American Enterprise Institute where Prof. Stephen Parente of the University of Minnesota revealed the results of a complex healthcare cost simulation model.  What did the number crunching show? The Democratic healthcare plan under consideration by the Senate Finance Committee would cost $300 billion a year if it wanted to reduce the number of uninsured Americans by three quarters. (Hello VAT!) And just to show how hard it is to do healthcare reform within current parameters of public policy, a conservative Republican alternative plan would cost $150 billion a year, though it would achieve the same results.  Or America could try this approach.

Obama’s ‘Moonstruck’ healthcare plan

June 2, 2009

The White House released an economic analysis of the economic benefits of healthcare reform. After skimming it, I am reminded of this classic scene from 1987 film “Moonstruck” where the economics of plumbing are explained:

Poll: Americans don’t want a VAT healthcare tax

May 29, 2009

Scat VAT! Rasmussen reports that while Democrats would go for a national sales tax to pay for universal healthcare, no so the rest of the country:

Dem healthcare reform adopts ‘most liberal approaches’

May 29, 2009

Healthcare reform is gaining momentum. (“If we don’t get it done this year, we’re not going to get it done,” Obama said yesterday.) Ted Kennedy’s bill is beginning to be unwrapped, says the WaPo: