Harsh media reviews for House health care bill

Falling Far Short of Reform,” The New York Times

Making the medical system more efficient is, in short, about saving lives and giving Americans a long overdue raise. It is arguably the single most important step that the federal government could take to improve people’s lives.

And the bill that the House of Representatives passed last weekend simply does not get it done.

Health Savings? No One Knows,” Politico:

Barack Obama ran for president on a promise of saving the typical family $2,500 a year in lower health care premiums.

But that was then.

No one in the White House is making such a pledge now.

It’s one of the most basic, kitchen-table questions of the entire reform debate: Would the sweeping $900 billion overhaul actually lower spiraling insurance premiums for everyone? 

No one really knows.

[snip]

[MIT economist Jon] Gruber, the favorite economist of the White House, said the bill “really doesn’t bend the cost curve.” … Reminded that Obama demanded a bill that lowers health care spending, Gruber said: “That is what he would like to do. But he’s not doing it.”

 “Some Vaguely Heretical Thoughts About on Health Care Reform,”The New Yorker

The Pelosi bill, in particular, wouldn’t do much, if anything, to address the overall escalation in health-care costs, much of which is rooted in the nature of insurance, where individuals consume costly health services, and different people—the other members of their risk pool—pay for them … The U.S. government is making a costly and open-ended commitment to help provide health coverage for the vast majority of its citizens. I support this commitment, and I think the federal government’s spending priorities should be altered to make it happen. But let’s not pretend that it isn’t a big deal, or that it will be self-financing, or that it will work out exactly as planned. It won’t.

 

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