A Few Questions for President Obama
By Paul Theroux • Tuesday March 16, 2010 11:23 PM PST •
President Obama is scheduled to be interviewed by Fox News’ Bret Baier on Wednesday. I would really love to seem him confronted with a few tough questions like these:
- Your administration has pointed to recent insurance premium rate increases in California to make the case for the health care bill. Many pieces of the health bill are actually mandates on insurance companies to pay for new things like coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, a cap out of pocket expenses, and paying for people’s children’s insurance up to the age of 26. Aside from whether or not these are good ideas, if you require insurance to pay for new things that they never had to pay for before, won’t the cost inevitably be passed on to consumers in the form of higher, not lower premiums? How can you argue that these reforms will lower premiums?
- If the goal is to lower health care costs, what’s wrong with the Republican idea of allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines? The government-run “exchanges” you have proposed are not the same thing because they impose federal regulations on the details of those plans rather than letting consumers decide for themselves what they want.
- You said on 60 Minutes that once this bill has passed, you will “own” the health care issue for good or bad. If the bill passes and costs to consumers or to the government continue to go up, or if quality goes down, will you promise not to blame the free market?
- Critics have pointed out that the bill achieves the goal of “deficit neutrality” by having 10 years of tax increases, and only 6 years of spending. What is your response to this?
- Doesn’t the $1 trillion price tag of the legislation understate its the true cost by ignoring the much larger cost to the American people of the individual mandate? Isn’t the individual mandate simply a tactic to redistribute wealth without the visibility of large tax increases?
- You have argued that the $500 billion in Medicare cuts are being used both to shore up Medicare and at the same time being used to pay for new spending. Isn’t this double counting?
- A new New England Journal of Medicine study has found that 46% of doctors could leave medicine if Obamacare passes. If you try to cover 30 million additional people with 46% fewer doctors, how will this not lead to higher prices and/or rationing?
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