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Ruth Marcus: Alarm Bell on Health Reform from Ron Wyden

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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:45 AM
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Ruth Marcus: Alarm Bell on Health Reform from Ron Wyden
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

With apologies to E.F. Hutton: When Ron Wyden talks about health-care reform, people should listen. When Ron Wyden balks at a Democratic health-care reform proposal, people should definitely listen. The Democratic senator from Oregon has been the Energizer Bunny of health reform for the past five years. This week he lobbed a big rhetorical stink bomb. Wyden warned publicly that the package being crafted by the Senate Finance Committee would cost lower-income Americans too much and give many people too little choice of insurance plans.

...

Now, a family earning three times the poverty level -- $66,150 for a family of four -- would have to pay up to 13 percent of their income for health insurance. And that's just the premiums -- not counting deductibles, co-payments and out-of-pocket expenses.

"I don't know very many working-class families who you can look in the eyes and say: 'Do you have that kind of money in your checking account?' -- because they don't," Wyden told me.

...

"Nobody ever told the folks carrying the public-option signs all over America that 85 percent wouldn't even get to choose it," Wyden said. "For hundreds of millions of people, they're going to have no more leverage after this bill passes than they do today. They work in some company, some person they don't know in the human resources department decides what's good for them. Nothing has changed."



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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:53 AM
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1. ...
"Nobody ever told the folks carrying the public-option signs all over America that 85 percent wouldn't even get to choose it,"
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. I saw Brian williams say on the news
yesterday that 60% of the population are living from paycheck to paycheck right now. I can't believe how out of tough these politicians are.
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. Can someone tell me who is concerned about low income Americans??
It appears that DC is warped into a pretzel trying avoid
upsetting the upper quadrants in the socio-economic groups.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Sorry, they're all dead: Eleanor Roosevelt, RFK, LBJ, Wellstone, Ted....nt
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Old Codger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
3. baucus bill
Should be doa, from what I have seen/heard it is probably worse than nothing.
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joeycola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
5. Lawmakers and the White House were unwilling to take the political risk involved in paying for a mor
wimps.


For all the hullabaloo over the public option, the reality is that most Americans would not be eligible to choose even a private option. In an effort to avoid destabilizing employer-sponsored health care, the exchanges will be open only to the uninsured and small businesses.

"Nobody ever told the folks carrying the public-option signs all over America that 85 percent wouldn't even get to choose it," Wyden said. "For hundreds of millions of people, they're going to have no more leverage after this bill passes than they do today. They work in some company, some person they don't know in the human resources department decides what's good for them. Nothing has changed."

There are reasonable explanations for why Wyden's colleagues and the White House made the choices they did. A price tag of more than $1 trillion for a more generous subsidy package induced sticker shock -- though the cost ought not to have been surprising.

Lawmakers and the White House were unwilling to take the political risk involved in paying for a more generous package. The most logical way would have been limiting the amount of employer-sponsored insurance that can be provided tax-free -- an approach that ran headlong into union opposition.
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