Health care: Obama’s plan will cost $950 billion

Posted Feb. 22, 2010 at 9:33 a.m.

By Noam N. Levey |
Four days before his planned health summit with
congressional leaders, President Barack Obama on Monday unveiled his
proposal to overhaul the nation’s health care system, building on the
gargantuan legislation developed by Senate Democrats last year.

The proposal, which the White House has posted on its website,
includes all the major provisions backed by congressional Democrats,
including a major expansion in coverage, broad new insurance regulations
and initiatives to make the health care system more efficient.

It also represents the president’s stated commitment
to move forward with sweeping healthcare changes in the face of public
anxiety and calls from Republicans to scrap the sweeping legislation and
pursue more limited changes.

White House officials said the total cost of the plan would be around
$950 billion over the next decade, offset with a mix of new taxes and
cuts in federal Medicare spending.

The centerpiece of the president’s plan to expand coverage to some 30
million people over the next decade is a new state insurance exchange
in which people who do not get coverage through work would be able to
shop for plans.

The federal government would oversee the plans, as it does now for
members of Congress and other federal employees.

Additionally, the president would give the government new authority
to regulate the premiums charged by private insurers, a new proposal
that the White House made in response to steep rate hikes in California
and elsewhere in recent months.

Following the Senate’s lead, the president did not include a new
government insurance plan – or public option – in his outline,
reflecting the political delicacy of the concept.

Read more at the Tribune’s Swamp blog.

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  1. Debbie Lackowitz Feb. 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    My first comment; finally, President Obama “steps up”. It’s also the first sign that he might really MEAN to get health care done. Everything you stated Noam is first essential to getting the plan to work; and second NEEDS to be done to actually deal with the health care crisis. The cost? Of course, like everyone else, the numbers stagger me. But you know what? Yeah, those are real huge numbers. But inconsequential if we DON’T do anything! It’s a never-ending spiral (downward) and will mean millions more uninsured (added to what we have now). And that cost? Well, unlike VISA, it’s NOT “priceless”. What it means is that the health care spiral, if we do nothing, WILL bankrupt us. While there are no guarantees, we MUST act and we must act NOW!

  2. get car insurance June 17, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Hello. Great job. I did not expect this on a Wednesday. This is a great story. Thanks!