>Washington, DC. – I went on Wednesday to the White House again to listen to Barack Obama. This time, in an hour long press conference, he talked about how important is the heath insurance reform for the U.S. economy. “Even as we rescue this economy from a full-blown crisis, we must rebuild it stronger than before. And health care reform is central to that effort.” That is fine.
Obama is worried for the 47 million Americans who have no health insurance, and also for those “who has ever feared that they may lose their coverage if they become too sick, or lose their job, or change their job.” So far, so good; the problem is how he is going to cover all these Americans.
The U.S. has the most expensive and inefficient health care system in the developed world. The country has two public health programs, Medicare, a social insurance which provides coverage to people who are aged 65 and over, and Medicaid, program for eligible individuals and families with low incomes and resources. Obama wants to expand this last one for almost all citizens, and compete with it in a free market with a variety of private health plans. But the problem is how he is going to pay for it.
During his prime time press conference, he explained that the reform is “about every small business that has been forced to lay off employees or cut back on their coverage because it became too expensive”, but the problem is how he is going to guarantee coverage. He insisted in the necessity of reform the system because of the fact that “the biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid”, but the problem is how; I mean, What he is going to reform?
The main problem of his plan is how much money is going to cost the plan and from where he is going to get the money to pay for it. The Congress estimated his plan in an increase in the national deficit of 239 billion dollars by 2019. Where money will come from?
Obama administration is in a crusade to force the Congress to approve the bill as soon as possible. They wanted it before the House recess, next month, but yesterday congressmen pushed the discussion till September.
It’s not clear whether he is going to succeed. There are too many questions without answers. During the press conference Obama only explained that he wanted to increase coordination among medical teams and current programs to reduce costs and increase efficiency. But it seems not enough to pay the entire plan. How much will this health care plan really cost? How can it cover nearly everybody without higher taxes or debt? Who is going to decide which treatments are allowed?
I think Obama is focus on a public communication strategy like if he were in a political campaign, just saying general ideas everybody could agree with, but not answering the concerned questions. Now it could be too late because the concerns about how solid is his plan have spread over the country, and many Americans don’t like experiments, especially now in a time of crisis.