Obama vs. Tanner

President Obama says:

  • “If you like your current health-care plan, you can keep it.”
  • “You will pay less.”
  • “Quality will improve.”

Michael Tanner says:

  • You can’t buy any insurance, only “insurance that includes all the benefits government thinks you should have.”  Further, the government plan may dominate the market because the public plan “would be subsidized by American taxpayers, the government plan could keep its premiums artificially low or offer extra benefit.”  
  • ” The Congressional Budget Office has made it clear that the reform plans now being debated will in crease overall health-care costs.”
  • Tanner believes that the VA and Medicaid are examples of how government-run health insurance does not work.  Further “Obama endorsed the creation of a government board with the power to dictate how your doctor practices medicine and all but endorsed the rationing prevalent in nationalized health-care systems around the world.”

Which side are you on?


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  2. I’m with Tanner, considering the president has already distanced himself from that first statement, and can’t prove the other two to even the CBO.

    If Medicaid and the VA were running well? Maybe then I’d believe the government could run it better.

  3. I’m with President Obama. @James, the President has in no way hedged on any of these points. You could argue on the different legislation whether cost and quality will significantly improve, but not on keeping your current inefficient and regressive employer provided insurance. Further, the VA provides most likely the best example of quality care in our fractured health system at much less cost per enrollment.

    On Tanner’s points he is either purposefully misrepresenting or ignorant on the facts. Increase overall health costs? Of course it will when you bring in 45 million uninsured! What we are talking about is spending per person and on this point these plans would save money (although it’s not clear it would be enough). And we already ration health care by income (come on Jason). James, read Peter Singer: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/magazine/19healthcare-t.html

  4. We need an overhaul. Our medical delivery system is not working well.

    The government is not a solution.

    I’d like to see indemnity plans come back. More paperwork however we need to get rid of all the HMO bureaucracy and expense.

  5. Why is our health care still based around for-profit? Grats’ on denials, medical bills, and foreclosure.

    We need two tiers:

    1. Basic coverage for all run by the US government, with all its pros and cons.

    2. Cadillac coverage from private insurance that expands upon the basics.

    We need to take care of our fellow Americans.

  6. What happened to expanding Government Employees Health Association, Inc. benefits to any comer. Most moderates who voted for Obama read this option on his campaign website and have not heard a peep about it since then. The Federal Government is the largest employer in the world and each of it’s employees has benefit of this insurance collective. Why does the congress think they need to recreate the wheel with health czars and all the other crap when the billing technology and other infrastructure is already in place here. The benefits put any other plan to shame and any employer would jump out of their shoes to pay their employees premiums at this cost/benefit level. You can bet your ass that congress and their staff and chefs and masseuses will still have access to GEHA – they would never dream of subjecting themselves to Barry-Care – that just for their grateful subjects.

  7. First of all CBO numbers keep changing from week to week.HMO has not contained cost in last 30 yrs and it has caused people toloose insurance in thousands on daily baisis and cost has doubled every 8-10 yrs so how come Mr.Tanner argues on side of HMO.I suspect he is getting paied by HMO to create a propaganda. HMO care is driving business bankrup including GM/Chrysler etc. No wonder Wal-mart cannot even offer HMO ins to all otheir employees and they also suppoer a public option.Heathcare shoudl be anonprofit business not where profiteering like a giant sucker squid.Under public option and Obama plan, coverage will be the cheapes it has ever been.Look at htese numbers and make sense:

    I’m probably wrong with my simple math, so someone please correct me. The way I figure it is if health care will cost 1.5 trillion over the next 10 years that comes to $4285.71 per person for 10 years. That’s $428.71 per year, and $35.71 per month for 350,000,000 people counted in the census. For an average family of 3.2 persons per family that’s $114.27 per month. I understand the 1.5 trillion may be only for the 47 million not coverd by insurance so I stand corrected if this is so. If I’m correct then what is the problem with the cost?

    Any suggestion or comments please from healthcare economists who seem to always know better????

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