Is Pres. Obama Caving In On Heath Care Reform?
Matt | On 28, Feb 2011
Today, President Obama made remarks to a gathering of the National Governors Association at the White House. There are a range of issues facing state leaders at this time and the president’s job has been to work with them and listen to their many concerns.
In his speech, one thing stood out that I wasn’t too keen on. It was the president’s ever-changing stance on the healthcare bill he and Democrats in Congress worked so hard to pass about one year ago.
Without boring you with specifics, there are a lot of moving parts to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Each state and health insurance company is required to implement parts of the law on the timeline that the federal government set.
In all of the uproar last year, some (Republican) state leaders (in VA and FL) have said they will sue the federal government so they don’t have to enact ANY parts of the law. That sucks…
So now, the president is saying that the provision in the law that allows states to handcraft their changes in the law starting in 2017 will now be moved to 2014. So that means, each state can start to remove or edit pieces of healthcare bill as they see fit.
This could be a good and a bad thing. Obviously, the healthcare needs of Alaska and Florida may be different. You do want to be sensitive and flexible to what works for certain states. However, I think a loophole like this allows the states to turn the law into whatever they feel like. More than a few states are opposed to the bill altogether, so I can see their cuts being a lot deeper.
The “pick and choose” mentality doesn’t sit well with me when 50 million people are currently off the health insurance rolls. The president says that as long as there is no decline in value for consumers, states can edit their participation in the healthcare overhaul starting in 2014.
Umm, if the states were that good in providing healthcare for their people, wouldn’t they have already done it? I understand we’re in an era of deficits and trying to balance federal and state budgets. But, meaningful healthcare reform will never be accomplished if we don’t KEEP the fire under our leaders’ feet.
President Obama seems to weaken (at least in speeches) more and more on the healthcare reform bill. I’m not a fan of that AT ALL! The provision is the legal version of a cop-out.