Megan doesn't approve of Obama's overtures:
This is all very well as political theater; politicians convene never-never working groups all the time. But, being perhaps too cynical, I suspect that the announced plan to save $2 trillion is going to be used to sell Obama's healthcare plan as if we'd already found it. Then when oh, darn, the SEIU doesn't agree to hold down wages or eliminate jobs, and pharma ratchets up the average price it charges the private sector to make sure it doesn't lose too much on its mandatory Medicaid discounts, etc, well, we'll all just have to dig into our pockets to pay for it, won't we?
Mish is also skeptical of the costs:
Obama has a plan, and that plan is an estimated 50%, $634 billion in the hole at the outset (the estimated amount over 10 years). However, government programs are always much more expensive implemented than proposed. Therefore, a more reasonable estimate of costs might be 2-5 times greater than proposed. And even if by some miracle the costs come in as expected, the world's most expensive healthcare system is about to get much more expensive.
This is not a plan, it's a nightmare.
Robert Reich is scared that the public option will be axed:
The only troubling thing about the President's statements today concerning health care reform was what he did not say: that he wanted a any health plan that emerges from Congress to include a public insurance option for Americans who do not want to buy private insurance. But without this option, there will be no pressure on private insurers to adopt all the other reforms to control costs or give all Americans access to affordable care.
And health care blogger Maggie Mahar wants the industry to cut deeper:
Going forward, spending on health care cannot grow more than GDP. And we know that GDP is not going to be growing by 6.6 percent the projected annual growth rate for health care spending. Over the next year or two , GDP might grow by 1% to 2%. If we are going to provide coverage for all Americans, and provide subsidies for those who cannot afford it, we’ll need to save more than 1 ½ percent a year that the industry is talking aboutor raise taxes substantially.