Archive for Monday, November 8, 2010

Obama surprised by political cost of health care overhaul

November 8, 2010


— President Barack Obama says the political cost of overhauling the health care system turned out to be higher than he had expected. And he admits that he gets discouraged at times when dealing with the economy.

In an interview airing Sunday night on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Obama said the health care system itself is huge and complicated and that changing it eluded previous presidents because it was so difficult.

“I made the decision to go ahead and do it, and it proved as costly politically as we expected — probably actually a little more costly than we expected, politically,” he said.

Obama said he thought that he would find common ground with Republicans by advancing health care proposals that had been introduced by Republican administrations as well as potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts.

“I couldn’t get the kind of cooperation from Republicans that I had hoped for,” he said. “And that was costly, partly because it created the kind of partisanship and bickering that really turn people off.”

Obama said the danger of a second major recession is “much reduced” and a great depression is not on the horizon. Still a danger, he said, is the nation being “stuck in a new normal where unemployment rates stay high.”

“I do get discouraged. I mean, there are times where I thought the economy would had gotten better by now,” he said. “One of the things I think you understand as president is you’re held responsible for everything. But you don’t always have control of everything, especially an economy this big.”

However, Obama sounded optimistic about the nation’s economic future.

“I am constantly reminded that we have been through worse times than these, and we’ve always come out on top,” he said. “And I’m positive that the same thing is going to happen this time.”

Obama said his two years as president haven’t changed his ideals.

“But I think that in terms of how I operated on a day-to-day basis, when you’ve got a series of choices to make — I think that there are times where we said let’s just get it done instead of worrying about how we’re getting it done,” he said. “And I think that’s a problem. I’m paying a political price for that.”


Liberty_One 7 years, 7 months ago

"Still a danger, he said, is the nation being “stuck in a new normal where unemployment rates stay high.”"

Unemployment is worse than the government reports. If we counted unemployment here the way they do in Europe our rate would be comparable to the regularly high unemployment in countries like France.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

Unemployment in the US has been comparable to that in Europe for a long time. It's just that the US counts it differently (and less honestly.)

mrf3114114 7 years, 7 months ago

Probably not, but since we have not tried that one yet, I can't say with absolute certainty. We are probably the least taxed and least socialized industrial countries on Earth. Our new health care system pales in comparison to any other western democracy. Our auto buyout was temporary and extremely minor compared to government takeovers in Europe. Wake me up when the government really tries to control the economy.

Godot 7 years, 7 months ago

The recent graduates who cannot find jobs are not included in the unemployment figures because they can't file for unemployment.

The self employed contractors don't count. Neither do the realtors. Entrepreneurs who had to close their doors can't file for unemployment benefits and are not counted, either.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

"The Anointed One feels Americans are stupid and need his constant guidance."

There you go, thinking that you're the center of the world again. Obama knows quite well that you're an atypical American.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

Oh, come on, Tom, you love arrogance. As long as it's from someone on your team.

voevoda 7 years, 7 months ago

The original plan for health care reform would have made affordable health care available for everyone and would have reduced the overall cost to our country. But the Republican fear machine generated turmoil with its completely false allegations of "socialism" and "government takeover of health care" and "death panels." As a result, the compromise bill that got passed is inadequate--no more than a minor revision in health insurance regulation. It helps some Americans who could not get insurance before to get it--that's certainly helpful. But the cost of the insurance isn't reined in, so many people won't be able to afford it. The most expensive and complicated aspects of our system were left in place: making employers responsible for providing health care insurance; the bureaucratic jumble caused by thousands of different insurance plans, almost none comprehensive; out-of-control malpractice insurance rates and judgments; the lack of primary care, wellness care, and health screening, which would reduce the incidence of expensive serious illness; a reluctance to discuss end-of-life care decisions. Most advanced countries have figured out how to run an effective health care system. We should learn from them.

notajayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

"The original plan for health care reform would have made affordable health care available for everyone and would have reduced the overall cost to our country."

There has never been a proposal by the Democrats that would have lowered overall costs. Some went farther than the legislation that was passed, yes, but they were all variations on how we pay for it, not to lower the cost.

beatrice 7 years, 7 months ago

Don't forget the all-important refusal to admit to being dead wrong on something when confronted with overwhelming evidence:

voevoda 7 years, 7 months ago

rockchalk1977, I'm confused by your concluding paragraphs about Obama. I could have sworn that you were talking about Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 7 months ago

Meanwhile, Gibbs had a hissy fit today in India.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 7 months ago

'Obama surprised by political cost of health care overhaul'


Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

What the majority of either party realizes is support for single payer crosses party lines in a big way. Why? Because both party supporters are getting equally ripped off by the medical insurance industry.

Improved Medicare Insurance for All would provide real medical insurance reform!

The United States spends twice as much as other industrialized nations on healthcare – $8160 per capita – yet performs poorly in comparison and leaves over 46 million people without health coverage and millions more inadequately covered.

Expanded and Improved Medicare for All is the solution.

  • Easy to Implement: Medicare has been in existence since 1966, it provides healthcare to those 65 and older, and satisfaction levels are high. The structure is already in place and can be easily expanded to cover everyone.

  • Simple: One entity – established by the government – would handle billing and payment at a cost significantly lower than private insurance companies. Private insurance companies spend about 31% of every healthcare dollar on administration. Medicare now spends about 3%.

  • Real Choice: An expanded and improved Medicare for All would provide personal choice of doctors and other healthcare providers. While financing would be public, providers would remain private. As with Medicare, you chose your doctor, your hospital, and other healthcare providers.

  • State and Local Tax Relief: Medicare for All would assume the costs of healthcare delivery, thus relieving the states and local governments of the cost of healthcare, including Medicaid, and as a result reduce State and local tax burdens.

  • Expanded coverage: Would cover all medically necessary healthcare services – no more rationing by private insurance companies. There would be no limits on coverage, no co-pays or deductibles, and services would include not only primary and specialized care but also prescription drugs, dental, vision, mental health services, and long-term care.

  • Everyone In, Nobody Out: Everyone would be eligible and covered. No longer would doctors ask what insurance you have before they treat you.

  • No More Overpriced Private Health Insurance: Medicare for All would eliminate the need for private health insurance companies who put profit before healthcare, unfairly limit choice, restrict who gets coverage, and force people into bankruptcy.

  • Lower Costs: Most people will pay significantly less for healthcare. Savings will be achieved in reduced administrative costs and in negotiated prices for prescription drugs.

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