I'm sifting through various opinions on the industry-proposed plan to reduce health care costs by $2 trillion over the next ten years, but I thought I'd put something on this site. First, here's Obama announcing it (transcript):
Of course he's trying to sell this as a great change; everyone wants to think that something positive is happening. But there are reasons why this is not at all a game-changer:
The enforcement mechanism appears to be magic faerie dust the media. So there's little reason for them to follow-through on today's announcement, which was obviously a blitzy PR move meant to show that the insurance industry cares.
Cutting costs can be bad. There's no reason to believe that the money will just just come from reduced administration costs, which are out of control. As D-Day points out, the plan calls for "reducing over-use[...] of health care ," which means denying people care.
It, obviously, doesn't call for a public option. So they're probably trying to stymie people's need for health care reform by providing a promise of a false solution. In fact, a public option, which Obama's said is still on the table, would make for a great enforcement mechanism....
What is the industry expecting to do with this photo op? If it's supposed to block any meaningful reform by showing how generous they are and how mean Congress and the White House are for expecting some kind of enforcement mechanism or proposing a public option, then it's a net-loss. I haven't come to expect much from this industry.