This last diary described the democratic and the republican responses to the problems that Medicare D has caused for people.

Now, here is how gwb intends on addressing the subject:

…the Union address will attempt to shift focus from the polarizing war in Iraq to a more popular domestic priority: taming health care costs.

This appears to be just another ploy to help out the republicans that may have voted for the Medicare D Plan in the mid-term elections.  Also, it is pointed out that health care costs are rising faster than inflation, and that more and more people now do not have health insurance due to the changes in the economy (job loss) and  the fact that fewer employers are offerring health insurance.

According to the Democrats,

the president is undertaking a campaign to transfer much of the cost of health care to the consumer, which discourages people – particularly the poor – from seeking care they need.

Al Hubbard, chairman of Bush’s National Economic Council stated,

“The American people are very, very frustrated with the health care system, for good reason.”

The following will be mentioned in the State of The Union Address:

-Raising the dollar amount allowed to accumulate in existing health savings accounts. In these accounts, people shoulder more of the responsibility for the costs of care. They deposit money tax-free into a dedicated account while purchasing a high-deductible policy to cover catastrophic expenses.

-Additional tax breaks to help people who do not have employer-provided insurance coverage buy their own.

-More portability for health insurance when people switch jobs.

-A way for people to get more information about the price of the care they get and the performance of the doctors they see.

-A switch from paper medical records to more cost-effective, error-reducing electronic records.

-The ability for small businesses to pool the purchasing of health insurance coverage across state lines.

-A cap on malpractice verdicts other than actual economic damages, something Bush has been able to get through the House three years in a row, but not the Senate.

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Now, taking a look at these individually, the following questions arise:

*  First, the purchasing of yet another policy–wonder who will benefit by that?  Answer:

In a nutshell, those who control it now – – mainly insurance and pharmaceutical companies.  The insurance and pharmaceutical industries are the largest stake holders in health care and they set their own (outrageous) prices. Other Americans who don’t want single payer coverage (like the current President of the United States are either clueless about the issues, afraid of change or are in the pockets of these industries.

  •  Second, how will this address the problem of those who are presently uninsured?
  •  Third, switching jobs?  The economy is in a shambles now!!
  •  Fourth, many do not see a doctor on a regular basis, other than go to the emergency room–how would information re:  prices and a doctor’s perfomance assist them?  Are emergency rooms going to be rated also?  (Waiting time?  Decor?)
  •  Fifth, error-reducing electronic records?  

    local pharmacists said that problems continued yesterday, with computer software glitches and long delays in reaching insurers who are managing the new Medicare D program.

  •  Sixth, (and I won’t even bother w/a question here, just the answer) the following are identified as wanting universal health care:

Many large corporations, medium and small businesses, organized labor, unorganized labor, entrepreneurs, doctors, nurses, medical students, a diverse group of associations and clubs, individual U.S. residents, married couples, single people, many Democrats and Republicans and the City of Philadelphia even voted for it.

*  Seventh, a cap on malpractice verdicts?   If Bush hasn’t been able to geth that thru for 3 years, why does he suddenly think he will during a mid-term election year?  (Am I missing something here?)

This goes back to the point I made in the comments section of yesteday’s diary:  

States now spend more on health care for the poor than they do on elementary and secondary education, a policy group said Thursday in its annual review of efforts to deal with the growing problem of the uninsured….

This is nothing but more divide and conquer: first it was education, now it is health care between the “haves” and the “have nots”.  Definitely not a Christian/moral value!!!

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