NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


September 9, 2009

What is the best thing President Obama could say in his speech to Congress Wednesday night to improve chances for health reform legislation this year?

According to John C. Goodman, President, CEO and the Kellye Wright Fellow of the National Center for Policy Analysis:   

  • Senator John McCain's health plan would have insured just as many people as Barack Obama aims to insure -- and at no additional cost to the Treasury.
  • It would have substantially lowered health care costs and may have increased quality as well.
  • On the demand side, it would have created new incentives for patients to shop for care, based on price and quality.
  • On the supply side, it would have created a national market for insurance; the financing mechanism was more progressive than anything that has been proposed on the Democrat side of the aisle.    

Barack Obama should have praised these sensible ideas and promised to work with both parties to enact some or all of them, says Goodman.  Instead, he spent several hundred million dollars demagoguing them.   In their place, he proposed a Rube Goldberg reform that cannot possibly work.  What is now called "ObamaCare" will increase costs, probably reduce quality and (after spending more than $1 trillion) may not even increase access to care.

Source: John C. Goodman, "What Obama Should Tell Congress?" National Journal Online, September 8, 2009.

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