Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Obama is Going to Get Specific

President Obama has decided to start offering up his own details on healthcare. For the past several months, he's deferred to liberals in Congress to write his healthcare overhaul plan for him. He's now going to take charge! It's eye of the Tiger, Rocky Balboa time.

This is sure to enrage his fanatical liberal base. For them, a public option was merely an intermission before the real end of having a one-payer healthcare system run entirely out of the federal government. Obama will probably propose a Co-Op type of approach with no public option. This is still not optimal and does not go towards reducing healthcare costs overall. The best scenario is to have people pay more out of their pocket for what they actually use and to increase competition by allowing healthcare to go across state lines. Currently, you have co-pays, healthcare restrictions per state, and lawsuit threats that result in doctors ordering tests that may not be need. The reason doctors order tests is not so much to collect extra fees, as Obama suggested, but to cover their rears legally.

This new approach depends on him winning over independents. He's going to have to win more of them than he loses from his base. I think he's going to have a hard time doing that given his radical economic spending policies. They may already be gone because of the Obama credit card spree. A Co-Op is something that can be undone or modified down the road by future presidents. So it's not as big an irreversible disaster as anything with the term "public" in it. It depends on the specifics of the Co-Op though and if it is left to the private market as the mechanism for resource allocation. If not it's just a new name for the same piece of ... (chocolate bar in the pool).

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