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President Obama’s Legislative Strategy

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

President Obama’s healthcare reform bill was rammed through congress over a month ago. He has been first to point out that the world has not fallen apart yet. He is being disingenuous since he healthcare reform plan does not influence medical care until 2014.

The strategy is to not do anything drastic until after he wins the November 2010 elections for the Democratic Party and the Presidential election in November 2012.

He is disregarding American’s anger toward him for ignoring their wishes. He is hoping they forget their anger.

The traditional media is helping America forget the tactics used to pass the healthcare reform bill. They are not evaluating the long term consequences on medical care and the budget deficit. It is not economically feasible to enlarge failed entitlement programs.

The public opposes the healthcare bill yet Wellpoint, who has been making billions of dollars a year, raises insurance premiums by 39%.

Immediately, President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi demonized the healthcare insurance industry. The choice given the public was to keep the present system along with healthcare insurance company abuse or adopt President Obama’s healthcare reform plan. The Republican Party did not present an alternative loud enough.

President Obama’s healthcare reform plan won the day by a partisan vote and a frustrated electorate. It led to Nancy Pelosi’s comment that Americans will understand the bill after it is passed.

The reality is the healthcare reform bill will lead to a single party payer system with increasing deficits, increased taxes and decreased access to care.

The healthcare insurance industry and Big Pharma are supporting President Obama’s healthcare reform plan because they will continue to control the healthcare dollars. Now the government will subsidize their business.

After passage of the healthcare reform plan, President Obama went on to his financial reform bill. There was much opposition to his plan. The plan does not go far enough to repair structural defects in the financial system. It also increases government control of the financial system without preventing abuse. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not restructured.

In the midst of the financial system reform debate the Democrats started a congressional hearing on alleged abuses by Goldman Sachs. Congress has demonized Goldman Sachs. The public has another choice. America can either support President Obama’s financial reform or the old structure.

President Obama’s environment and energy bill was going nowhere. Cap and trade looked dead. President Obama agreed to permit offshore drilling for oil as a compromise.

The catastrophic oil spill occurred. The traditional media obsessed over the leak. In order to be a “good guy” President Obama announced that off shore drilling is too risky and discontinues his plan to let federal leases for off shore drilling.

We now have an environment and energy bill without off shore drilling. There is no consideration about this decision’s effect on a fragile economy.

The immigration bill is going nowhere also. It has large structural defects. The federal government is not enforcing laws that already exist. Arizona passed a law duplicating the federal laws. Arizona gets demonized by the White House and the traditional media.

President Obama has condemned Arizona. Arizona is only doing what the federal government should be doing. There is now public sympathy for President Obama’s defective immigration bill.

I suspect President Obama will use this opportunity to push through his immigration bill rather than do it right. Where are the Republicans?

President Obama wants illegal immigrants to be legalized citizens. He wants them to have the right to vote. His plan is to get enough new voters to neutralize the independent voter who have defected since he was elected President.

The pattern is clear. You demonize the opposition and then pass your alternative as if it is the only alternative. President Obama’s method has legs with the traditional media. Experts in each area will tell you most of this legislation will not solve any of our problems. It will be ineffective legislation. It will increase the federal deficit and lead to more taxation. It will decrease economic growth by decreasing incentives. It will increase government power over States and suppress individual freedoms. Many unintended negative consequences will occur after government has operational control.

I am afraid the public is growing weary of protest. They will forget the tricks used to produce terrible legislation. We will have many costly unintended consequences for many years to come.

The most frightening consequence is government control over our lives and freedom and a never ending need to raise taxes. It will suppress America innovative spirit.

President Obama is moving ahead with his healthcare pilot studies. In my view all of the approved pilot studies have little chance of success.

A potential pilot study with the biggest chance of success is not being considered. The five models to be studied are Accountable Care Organizations, Primary Care Medical Homes, Bundled Payments, Partial Capitation, and Full Capitation.

All five have problems. The chance of succeeding to reduce cost is marginal. The Ideal Medical Savings Account is ignored as an option. The MSA should be compared to each model tested. The Ideal Medical Savings Account model is the only model with a chance for success. The MSA is a consumer driven model. It puts patients in control of their healthcare dollars. It rewards consumer when they use their healthcare dollars wisely and maintain their health. It promotes self responsibility and self respect.

I will evaluate each model and point out the problems in each model.


The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

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