Some Massachussets residents have already been exempted from the “mandatory” health insurance requirement. “The only place in the U.S. that has attempted a mandate is Massachusetts, and we do not know if it is going to work here,” said David Blumenthal, a professor of health policy at Harvard university and an adviser to the Obama campaign. “A mandate is not a slam-dunk solution. The key question is whether there is the political will to enforce the mandate once it goes into effect.” Blumenthal concedes that the Obama plan will not cover all the uninsured, at least to begin with. But he claims that Obama will do a better job than Clinton in reducing the cost of health care premiums. He says that Obama might consider a mandate at a later stage, if his present plan does not achieve its goal of universal coverage.
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Obama defends health care law, slams GOP for “re-fighting” old battles
But the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation took issue with that estimate, saying that they were “highly skeptical” that the rising cost of insurance premiums had much to do with cost-shifting, because much of the uncompensated costs would not be passed on to premium payers. KFF’s estimate of actual cost shifting amounted to more like $200 per family annually. In his press conference, Obama added even more to families’ premiums, saying they paid “thousands” more to cover uncompensated care. That’s not what the Families USA study found, and even that group’s $1,000 estimate has been disputed. A $5 Trillion Whopper? The president claimed he has cut federal spending by more than $2 trillion. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office doesn’t agree that Obama’s budget has “reduced federal spending” at all.
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Obama’s Health Care News Conference
“You’re getting more value for each dollar that you spend on your health care.” A NBC/WSJ poll last month showed that just 37 percent of the public believes the law is a good idea, compared to 49 percent who say its a bad idea. The presidents remarks at the White House come after the administration announced the delay of one key part of the law the requirement that larger employers provide health care for workers or pay a fine. With Republicans arguing that its unfair to delay requirements for businesses but not for individual health care buyers, the GOP-led House of Representatives passed a pair of bills Wednesday to push back both the employer and individual mandates in the law. But those votes were merely symbolic, with the Senate sure to ignore the Houses actions and the White House promising to veto them. Flanked by supporters who say they’ve benefited from falling costs and insurance rebates, Obama slammed congressional Republicans for “re-fighting these old battles” instead of moving forward on other needed legislation. The Daily Rundown’s Chuck Todd talks about the president’s attempt to argue that the implementation of health care reform is working. “Maybe they think its good politics,” he said. “But part of our job here is not to always think about politics.” Obama acknowledged opposition to the health care law but said that opponents have politicized the legislation without taking into account its benefits. “Some of them seem to think this laws about me,” he quipped. “Its not.
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