I’m generally supportive of President Obama, and I am definitely in favor of universal health coverage for Americans. But I’m not sure I agree with him when he says:
Second, we’ve estimated that most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system, a system that is currently full of waste and abuse.
Even if there is considerable waste in the system, do you believe that it is *feasible* for us to cover healthcare without lifetime caps, with coverage for all pre-existing conditions, with expanded coverage for millions of Americans who currently aren’t covered, and with “free routine checkups and preventative care” solely by finding and eliminating waste in the existing system?
What I’d like to attempt here is less of a polemic debate, and more of a reality check. For the purposes of this thread, let us assume that all who comment under this post are in favor of universal coverage in the United States. This support can be genuinely felt or just a rational thought experiment.
My questions are as follows: do you think we can pay for it, both in the short term (the next five years or so) and the long term (the next 15-20 years and beyond)? If so, how can we pay for it? What costs can we realistically eliminate or pare down? Would we have to raise taxes, or eliminate other government expenditures to pay for this?
Reminder: this particular thread is not the place to shoot down the concept of universal health care, or to argue against Marx and Canadians, or even spout eloquent but unsupported rhetoric in favor of socialized medicine. I may choose to delete comments that don’t follow this guideline, and this won’t be censorship, but your own inability to follow directions.