Theodore's World: Biden Announced: $155 Billion Deal With Hospitals To Help Pay For Socialized Medicine

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July 09, 2009

Biden Announced: $155 Billion Deal With Hospitals To Help Pay For Socialized Medicine

Joe Biden announcing a supposed $155 Billion deal with Hospitals to help pay for the Obama Administration's Health Care proposal. Supposedly, the agreement is that hospitals across the nation will donate $155 Billion that they will save through the Health Care Plan to help fund it. This only represents 10% of the total $1.5 Trillion cost of their Health Care Plan to bring socialized medicine to America.

Hospitals Agree to Health Care Deal


The nation's hospitals will give up $155 billion in future Medicare and Medicaid payments to help defray the cost of President Barack Obama's health care plan, a concession the White House hopes will boost an overhaul effort that's hit a roadblock in Congress.

Vice President Joe Biden announced the deal at the White House on Wednesday, with administration officials and hospital administrators at his side.

Reform is coming. It is on track; it is coming. We have tried for decades to fix a broken system, and we have never, in my entire tenure in public life, been this close," Biden said. And in a firm message to lawmakers, Biden added, "We must — and we will — enact reform by the end of August."

Obama has set an ambitious timetable for legislation, with the hope of signing a comprehensive bill in October. But lawmakers returned Tuesday from their July 4 break with lots of questions about the complex legislation and deep misgivings about key elements under discussion.

Democratic senators in particular are having second thoughts about a proposed new tax on generous health insurance benefits provided by some employers. Without the tax — Republicans favor it as a brake on cost increases — the prospects for a bipartisan deal in the Senate appear to be in jeopardy.

Timing is critical because lawmakers might be reluctant to vote on such a charged issue as health care next year, when all House members and one-third of senators face elections.

"We're not there yet," said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who, as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has spent countless hours seeking a compromise with Republican colleagues. "I'm trying the best I can to get there soon."

Another senator deeply involved in the bipartisan negotiations said the proposed new tax on the costliest employer-paid insurance benefits is quickly losing favor with Democrats.

"It's clearly a very difficult issue," said Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., citing recent polls. "You go to the public to ask them what they think and they don't like it."

A compilation of surveys reviewed by senators showed at least 59 percent of the public opposed to taxing health care benefits to "pay for reform."

As a result, Conrad said, "we're looking at other options" to help finance a bill whose price tag is expected to reach $1 trillion or slightly more. Those other options may be hard to sell to Republicans whose support Baucus has been cultivating.

Baucus has long championed a tax on health benefits as the best way to pay for health care while simultaneously restraining the growth of the cost of coverage in the future. But the idea has drawn strong opposition from organized labor, a core Democratic constituency. House Democrats have been highly resistant, too, and Obama campaigned hard against it in last year's run for the White House.

The deal with the hospitals — the one bright spot right now for Obama — may also be on shaky ground. Officials said it's pegged to the Senate Finance Committee legislation that Baucus is negotiating, and whose prospects are uncertain. It would follow concessions from drug companies, and an announcement by Wal-Mart last week that it would support an employer requirement to help pay for health care.

Of the $155 billion in projected savings from hospitals, about $40 billion to $50 billion would come from reducing federal payments hospitals receive for providing care to uninsured and low-income patients, according to lobbyists. Those payments are now made through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The Medicaid cuts would be apportioned by state, as 10 percent annual reductions beginning around 2015.

Officials of public hospitals say they have concerns such reductions could also squeeze funding for trauma centers and burn units, which receive Medicare and Medicaid money. But they wanted to see the fine print.

Other savings of about $100 billion would come from slowing increases in planned Medicare payments to hospitals. A small amount of savings would come from trimming the money hospitals get for preventing patients from being readmitted for additional care.

Hospitals would also get something out of the deal. They won an agreement that if the Finance Committee's legislation includes a public health insurance plan, it would reimburse hospitals at above the rates Medicare and Medicaid pay, which hospitals have long complained are insufficient.

The issue of a government insurance plan to compete against private companies continued to inflame sentiments on both sides of the political aisle. Republicans remain solidly opposed. Democrats, citing polls that show the public is open to the idea, are talking about a showdown on the issue.

Biden was joined at the White House by Rich Umbdenstock, president of the American Hospital Association, Richard Bracken, president of Hospital Corporation of America, Wayne Smith, president of Community Health Systems, and Sister Carol Keehan, president of Catholic Health Association of the United States.

"We know how urgently reform is needed, both for moral and economic purposes," said Keehan, who represents Catholic hospitals.
House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio criticized the hospital deal, saying it was negotiated out of public view. "The administration and congressional Democrats are literally bullying health care groups into cutting backroom deals to fund a government takeover of health care," Boehner said in a statement.

Wild Thing's comment......

I bet the medical profession feels strong-armed big time by the Chicago socialist THUG. I wouldn't put it past O and his thugs to threaten, demoralize, and do underhanded things to get the medical profession to come up with that.

I don't understand how if 80% of insured are satisfied with their coverage 70%, as quoted by the MSM, thinks the health-care system must be fixed.

When people figure out that their rates just went up 50% to pay for 12 million illegals the "sh*t is going to hit the fan."

Posted by Wild Thing at July 9, 2009 05:50 AM


Of course they were strong armed. Chicago is known for being one of the biggest bully cities in the world. What does this say for me when I get to medicare age and need help? What if I can't afford it because of all the other taxes I'm paying? What happens to my kids? Are they the last generation because of Obama's taxes? Too much, too fast.

Posted by: Lynn at July 9, 2009 08:24 AM

If the Libs can't get support for a bill/tax the legal way, what's a little thuggery? They've been at it for near a century. "By any means possible" is their strategy.
Illegal aliens? Soon there won't be any "illegal" aliens unless America wakes up and does more than watch the evening news.
"We are the world..." and all that crap.
Personally, I don't want to be lumped in with a good portion of the world. There's a reason this country has been exceptional for 200 years and it wasn't by bowing to and appeasing and supporting tyrants and ethnic cleansers.
Good God almighty, the penalty for treason needs to be brought back and put in force.

Posted by: yankeemom at July 9, 2009 09:31 AM

Now the hospitals are caving, trying in vain to save their asses. When in the long run it will kill them too.

This administratioin has bullied every industry into doing their bidding. They know the consequences but are helpless to do anything about it. They are afraid to stand up and say no for fear of being singled out and attacked by the obama thugs.

Posted by: Mark at July 9, 2009 10:18 AM

They might not have been strong armed, they just may have been told they weren't going to get the money and that's that.

The hospitals will do all they can to recoup that money. They're going to charge more to those that pay and our insurance companies.

Posted by: BobF at July 9, 2009 11:25 AM

obama's health care plan is so complicated no one will understand it. The funding policies for the plan will be more like Abbott and Costello's skit of "Who's on First?". The Democrats make it appear everybody is going to get something for little, yet it will cost us taxpayers big time.

Posted by: TomR at July 9, 2009 11:58 AM

Lynn, good points and so far everyone
I have talked to about this say no way
will they put it through, I sure hope
they are right.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 9, 2009 07:45 PM

Yankeemom, AMEN!!!!

"the penalty for treason needs to be brought back and put in force."

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 9, 2009 07:46 PM

Mark, I agree, they are afraid, it is
upsetting because they are a force if
they would just realize it. Joined all
as one and sticking to their guns they
could say no way and oh that would be
so wonderful.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 9, 2009 07:49 PM

BobF., you amke a good point.
I wish they would still say no.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 9, 2009 07:51 PM

Tom, good comparison.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 9, 2009 07:53 PM