As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, July 17, 2009

Liveblogging Obama's Speech On Health Care

They scheduled this at the last minute. Obviously negotiations are hitting a rough stretch, particularly over who will pay for health care. Let's see if the President draws any lines in the sand.

..."I realize that Washington is often focused on the 24-hour news cycle instead of the long view." He's going to put it in context, and try to discuss the progress made.

...talking about provider deals to reduce the cost of health care growth. The $80 billion dollars from drug companies, the hospitals deal. Endorsements from AARP, the American Nurses Association and the AMA.

..."consensus around specific reforms," need to invest in preventive medicine, streamline forms, reform insurance system so you can get affordable coverage if you're out of work, guaranteed issue, insurance exchange.

"Lower costs, more choices, and coverage you can count on." Not a bad bumper sticker.

This consensus has brought us closer to the goal than ever. Now we have to get over the finish line. Main stumbling block is how to pay for it (as I've said). Must be deficit-neutral. Cutting unnecessary spending and giveaways could make up 2/3 of the total costs. We have to find a way to pay for the remaining 1/3.

The bill will also include my commitment to slow the growth of health care costs in the long run. "bend the cost curve" Lot of debate and disagreement. Our proposal would change incentives to get the best care and not the most expensive care. Talking about the MedPAC reform. Independent group of doctors and experts to oversee best practices. They're calling it IMAC. "Force Congress" to act on recommendations to bend the cost curve each and every year. Independent group empowered to make these changes.

"The last miles of any race are the hardest to run." But now is not the time to slow down. If we don't reform, we cannot control costs and our long-term deficits. No one's insurance will be secure if we do nothing. "Not a future I accept for the United States of America." We are going to get this done. It will happen this year.

This is basically an overview, a full stop, saying "look where we've come, here's what we have left to go." Using the bully pulpit to lay this out.

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