Bloggers take in President Barack Obama’s speech urging the passage of the health reform bill, in part through budget reconciliation, by Easter. But there’s still vehement disagreement over the legislations’ substance.
Heritage’s Conn Carroll reacted to yesterday’s event, saying, “there is one huge difference between the Senate bill and what the President kept referring to as my/our proposal: the Senate bill actually exists. For all the talk in Washington about Democrats in the Senate using reconciliation to pass a final version of Obamacare, one key fact has been overlooked: no reconciliation bill exists. Not in the House. Not in the Senate. Nowhere. It simply has not yet been written, and there are plenty of reasons to believe it never will.”
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein emphasized that this speech seemed different than Obama’s previous presidential statements: “What’s important about this speech is that it didn’t leave any paths open. It attacked the Republican bills, the arguments for piecemeal reform, and the idea that procedural impediments are sufficient to excuse the further delay of a verdict. This is the end of the line.”
Critical Condition’s Jeffrey Anderson says Obama’s claims about what his health plan will do are false, and argues “In reality, here are the three main things that Obamacare would change about the current health system: One, it would reduce freedom. Two, it would raise costs. Three, it would ultimately reduce costs in the only way that a government-controlled system can: by rationing care.”
Cato’s Michael Cannon says Obama’s move to include health savings accounts in his new plan didn’t gain any Republican support, and “it may have cost him some Democratic support — or at least frayed the nerves of a few House Democrats.”
Elsewhere, Brad Wright of Wright on Health hosts the newest edition of Health Wonk Review, a biweekly compendium of health policy blogging, where he charts the cyber chatter surrounding key developments feeding into the health reform dynamic — everything from the fracas surrounding insurance premium hikes to an analysis of the good and bad ideas that emerged at the president’s health summit.
The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn looks at a new ad from a conservative group that urges Democrats to vote against a reform bill. Cohn thinks the add is “a vivid illustration of why changing votes is such a bad idea. Just read that script again. But, this time, stop after the first paragraph. That’s the ad conservatives will run against these members even if they change their votes. And it’s still devastating.”
Wonk Room’s Igor Volsky fact-checks statements on abortion funding from Rep. Bart Stupak, who authored an amendment restricting funding of abortions in the health bills. Volsky says: “Stupak is just shifting the goal posts. First he complained about taxpayer funding for abortion and once Democrats strengthened the Senate language, he began arguing that private funds will not go towards abortion coverage. He simply can’t have it both ways.”
And Slate’s Timothy Noah created a ‘Mix-Up’ of health care statements from President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass.