The White House will release details today for their 10-year budget outline, but to be included will be a $634-billion fund for health care reform. The money will come from cap-and-trade on carbon emissions, rolling back on Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, decreasing the tax benefit of itemizing deductions for the top marginal tax bracket (i.e., rich people), and Medicare reorganizing.
Not too shabby. Expect to see the fiscal conservatives and the Republicans out in full force on this one, because Obama's asking for a little over $63 billion a year for uninsured people, which is so much compared to the amount that's been given to banks over the past few months... or the amount that's been dumped into that war in Iraq. But fiscal conservatives have a way of not noticing military spending but exploding over money directed towards poor people.
Paul Krugman says it's not enough money but it's close, and if team Obama stays committed to universality, affordability, and quality care, this could be a great health care plan. And if it's actually moving in the right direction, there's no problem with an incremental approach.