Obama’s package adds new, big government

THE REVIEWS ARE IN: “BETRAYING SPIRIT OF THE SUMMIT”
Obama’s Reconciliation Package Adds New, Big Government Policies To An Old, Partisan Bill

OBAMA’S “NEW PLAN” JUST ADDS MORE GOVERNMENT
TO SENATE DEMS’ PARTISAN PLAN …

Detroit News Editorial Board: Obama’s Partisan “Recasting Of The Existing Democratic Health Care Plan” Is “Betraying The Spirit Of The Summit.” “But in reality, it’s a recasting of the existing Democratic health care plan at an even higher cost. If the president’s intent is to staple onto it a couple of Republican ideas and call it a bipartisan bill, then he is betraying the spirit of the summit and, in all likelihood, will end up with a package that can’t pass Congress.”

(Editorial, “Obama’s Compromise Health Care Proposal Looks Too Much Like The Old Plan,” The Detroit News, 2/23/10)

Chicago Tribune Editorial Board: “Faced With Critics Opposed To A Great Expansion Of Federal Spending On, And Control Of, Health Care And Health Insurance, Obama Decided To Demand An Even Bigger Role For Washington.”

(Editorial, “Price Controls?” The Chicago Tribune, 2/22/10)

WSJ Editorial Board: Obama’s Proposal Takes Worst Elements Of Dems Bills To Create “Something More Destructive.” “It manages to take the worst of both the House and Senate bills and combine them into something more destructive. It includes more taxes, more subsidies and even less cost control than the Senate bill. And it purports to fix the special-interest favors in the Senate bill not by eliminating them–but by expanding them to everyone.”

(Editorial, “ObamaCare At Ramming Speed,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/22/10)

The Hill: Obama’s Proposal “Not The Blank Slate” That Was Hoped For, Instead “Closely Tracked” To Earlier Dem Proposals. “President Barack Obama unveiled a detailed healthcare proposal on Monday that closely tracked legislation favored by Democrats, setting the stage for a contentious bipartisan summit at the Blair House on Thursday. Obama’s proposal was not the blank slate demanded by the GOP and was short on new ideas aimed at winning their support. Instead, it hews closely to the parameters of the tentative agreement being forged by Obama and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate…”

(Jeffrey Young, “President Sets Stage For Fight At The Summit,” The Hill, 2/22/10)

AND OBAMA’S ONLY “NEW” PARTS ARE JUST PREVIOUSLY REJECTED ONES …

Chicago Tribune Editorial Board: Price Controls In The 1970s Were “An Economic Disaster.” “Well, there was a time when price controls had a certain vogue… That time was 1971… It was an economic disaster, generating shortages and failing to prevent high inflation.”

(Editorial, “Price Controls?” The Chicago Tribune, 2/22/10)

Chicago Tribune: Obama’s “Price Controls” Are “To The Benefit Of No One.” “After denouncing WellPoint Inc. for raising premiums on individual policies in California by up to 39 percent, the administration concluded that jawboning was not enough… Obama wants to create a federal Health Insurance Rate Authority, with the power to block rate increases that it deems excessive… That practice would not work any better in health insurance than elsewhere. It would induce companies to cut back on the procedures they cover, cutting costs by reducing services. It would also encourage WellPoint and other insurers to simply get out of the individual policy business entirely, to the benefit of no one. WellPoint says its California subsidiary, Anthem Blue Cross, lost money last year on sales of individual policies in California.” (Editorial, “Price Controls?”, The Chicago Tribune, 2/22/10)

Washington Post Editorial Board: “Letting The Government Essentially Dictate Premiums Hardly Seems Like A Step In The Right Direction.” “The president also would give the government power to block increases in health-care premiums. Given public concerns about a federal takeover of the health-care system, letting the government essentially dictate premiums hardly seems like a step in the right direction.”

(Editorial, “On Health Care, Mr. Obama Lets The Next President Do The Hard Stuff,” The Washington Post, 2/23/10)

The Hill: Obama’s Medicare Tax Was Nixed From The Senate Bill Because It “Would Affect Investments.” “Obama’s plan adds a 2.9 percent assessment on ‘income from interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents, other than such income which is derived in the ordinary course of a trade or business which is not a passive activity (e.g., income from active participation in S corporations) on taxpayers with respect to income above $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly,’ state the White House summary of the proposal released today. Senate lawmakers declined to add a similar provision to their reform bill… The measure was not added to the bill, in part because of concerns over how the provision would affect investments.”

(Jay Heflin, “Broadened Medicare Tax Likely To Spur Backlash,” The Hill, 2/22/10)

AS OBAMA USES FIG LEAF OF “CHANGE” TO IGNORE AMERICA’S REJECTION OF DEMS’ PLANS

AP: Obama’s New Plan Isn’t “Looking Much More Promising” And The Real Goal Is “To Silence The Talk Of A Failing Presidency.” “Starting over on health care, President Barack Obama knows his chances aren’t looking much more promising. A year after he called for a far-reaching overhaul, Obama unveiled his most detailed plan yet on Monday. Realistically, he’s just hoping to win a big enough slice to silence the talk of a failing presidency.”

(Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar & Erica Werner, “Outlook No Brighter For Obama Health Plan,” The Associated Press, 2/22/10)

NYT’s David Brooks: Obama’s Proposal A “Fiscal Time Bomb” Showing A Victory Of Politics Over Responsibility. Barack Obama came to Washington with the nation’s hope for change riding on his shoulders. He promised to reform the health care system. He hired many of the country’s top experts who had written brilliantly about how to do reform…. But it has just become a fiscal time bomb. The revenue will never come. Compromises have to be made to keep it (barely) alive. But responsibility ebbs. Politics wins.” (David Brooks, Op-Ed, “Sinking Into The Mire With Health Reform,” The New York Times, 2/23/10)

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