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In Health Care Bill, Obama Attacks Wealth Inequality..David Leonhardt. NY Times

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Stuart G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 08:54 AM
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In Health Care Bill, Obama Attacks Wealth Inequality..David Leonhardt. NY Times
Edited on Wed Mar-24-10 08:58 AM by Stuart G
Economic Scene
In Health Care Bill, Obama Attacks Wealth Inequality
By DAVID LEONHARDT
Published: March 23, 2010


For all the political and economic uncertainties about health reform, at least one thing seems clear: The bill that President Obama signed on Tuesday is the federal governments biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago.

Over most of that period, government policy and market forces have been moving in the same direction, both increasing inequality. The pretax incomes of the wealthy have soared since the late 1970s, while their tax rates have fallen more than rates for the middle class and poor.

Nearly every major aspect of the health bill pushes in the other direction. This fact helps explain why Mr. Obama was willing to spend so much political capital on the issue, even though it did not appear to be his top priority as a presidential candidate. Beyond the health reforms effect on the medical system, it is the centerpiece of his deliberate effort to end what historians have called the age of Reagan.

Speaking to an ebullient audience of Democratic legislators and White House aides at the bill-signing ceremony on Tuesday, Mr. Obama claimed that health reform would mark a new season in America. He added, We have now just enshrined, as soon as I sign this bill, the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.

The bill is the most sweeping piece of federal legislation since Medicare was passed in 1965. It aims to smooth out one of the roughest edges in American society the inability of many people to afford medical care after they lose a job or get sick. And it would do so in large measure by taxing the rich


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/business/24leonhardt....
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 10:00 AM
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1. With a Wet Noodle
Edited on Wed Mar-24-10 10:00 AM by Demeter
what a brute. That's really gonna leave a mark--NOT.
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andym Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 10:24 AM
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2. That is its strength, that it stands as the first counter measure enacted in years
Edited on Wed Mar-24-10 10:26 AM by andym
to help a large number of those with lower incomes get access to the system-- an expansion of the social safety, which promotes rather than erodes equality. Its weakness is of course is that it does little to rein in the big players making big money off the system, especially the hospitals, big Pharma, Doctors, and insurers (who are still allowed 80-85% Medical cost ratios).
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