President, GOP Meet Tomorrow, But Obama Proposal No Bipartisan Compromise

Thursday, February 25, 2010 General News J E 4

DALLAS, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Although Republicans will meet with President Obama tomorrow for a health care summit -- supposedly to negotiate a bipartisan agreement for health care reform -- Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) health care expert Dr. Merrill Matthews says the president's plan does nothing to appease the other side of the aisle.

"Republicans had three fundamental objections to the House and Senate health care reform bills," said Matthews. "Last year's bills cost a trillion dollars or more, cut Medicare by $450 billion to $500 billion and created numerous new taxes and bureaucracies."

So what does this "compromise" version of health care reform do?  In addition to price controls on health insurance, all of the above, says Matthews.

"Why the president has decided to take this approach to reform is a mystery," says Matthews. "It won't lower health care spending, it won't improve quality of care and it certainly won't be bipartisan."

"The president's plan will likely cost significantly more than the House or Senate bills because it increases subsidies, delays some revenues and reduces other out-of-pocket costs," said Matthews.

"And perhaps that's why the administration didn't produce specifics so the Congressional Budget Office could score the bill; it allows the president to claim it will only cost $950 billion over ten years."

Matthews concedes that while the president's plan claims to strengthen efforts to reduce Medicare and Medicaid fraud in the hope of attracting some Republicans, these proposals only enhance what has already proven to be a failed approach.  

To reduce Medicare and Medicaid fraud, Matthews suggests the government should be learning from private sector insurers, which keep fraud to a minimum, instead of simply throwing more money at the problem.

Dr. Merrill Matthews, resident scholar and health care expert at the Institute for Policy Innovation, is available for interview by contacting Erin Humiston at (972) 874-5139, or The Institute for Policy Innovation is an independent, nonpartisan free market public policy organization based in Dallas, Texas.

SOURCE Institute for Policy Innovation



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