FDL Action Health Care Update: Tuesday (12/1/09)

Here are the FDL Action health care reform highlights for Tuesday, December 1.

1. Jon Walker has some advice “for every potential manufacturer and transnational company looking to expand…don’t start a single business-or expand an existing one-in this country until we really try to rein in health care costs.” Walker elaborates, “As a nation, we will not be able to compete going forward if we are spending upwards of an extra $6,000 on our workers health care compared to Germany, Japan, Canada, the UK, etc.” But wait, aren’t those all “socialist” countries? (snark)

2. Jon Walker takes issue with Peter Orszag’s assertion that “basically everything that has been put forward in health policy discussions for a decade is in this [health care reform] bill.” To the contrary, Walker writes, “This is not true at all, and Orszag knows it. The Senate bill does not even contain many of health care reforms championed by Obama on the campaign trail last year.” The result, in Walker’s view, is that the “bill does not do is take the serious steps that could reduce our national health expenditures by trillions of dollars in this country.”

3. Jon Walker argues that “We will never see a Washington not run by lobbyists until we make a commitment to hiring sufficient numbers of highly qualified staffers committed to doing the job long term.” Excellent point.

4. Jane Hamsher reminds us that Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) “wasn’t always so enamored of Medicare Advantage,” a program “which Jon Walker recently said ‘may have the dubious distinction of being the biggest and most wasteful form of corporate welfare in the country.'” Wait a minute, a Republican is being a liar and a hypocrite? I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you! 🙂

5. Jon Walker writes that even Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE), author of the terrible “non-public triggered co-op” idea, says that “the decision to add his worthless idea to the bill is completely up to Harry Reid.”

6. Continuing his series of “what the Senate bill does better,” Jon Walker points to SCHIP, which will be eliminated under the House bill but, “[t]hanks in large part to the efforts of Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV),” will remain intact under the Senate bill. According to the CBO, “maintaining the SCHIP program would be roughly $15 billion cheaper than eliminating the program and moving the children into the new exchange.” Can we say “no brainer” on this one?