TV Doctor Tim Johnson offers pointed point-by-point comments on the President's lengthy speech today to the American Medical Association. Johnson notes that the speech had lines that the docs loved, and some that they didn't.
It seems to us that Obama did what Obama does: suggest that he's on all sides of an issue at once. That's great for forging political support but not much guidance for policy.
Our primary concern in Obama's discussion remains the notion of a "public" (read: "government") plan that would inevitably drive out private insurance, leaving most citizens with no choice but to take what Uncle Sugar offers. We find it disingenuous to suggest that a government plan will force savings by reducing unfair profits from the insurance companies when encouraging more private competition and choice by reducing mandates and eliminating barriers between states would clearly offer the better way to force competition and reduce prices.
We're no less impressed that every nation, regardless of its system of financing health care, is experiencing rising costs. The problem is that no one wants to be sick or die. Everyone is willing to spend any amount to avoid that, especially if they spend someone else's money. So cost control will always be an issue, but one made better by assuring that the cost of healthcare is felt directly by the beneficiary.