A 2,000 page bill disguised as reform
In his first State of the Union address, President Obama took a brief moment to mention what had been his number one legislative priority: health-care reform. Mr. Obama encouraged Congress to continue the year-long quest for a comprehensive bill, to which the American people are opposed. The Congressional Budget Office and other independent authorities have shown that both the House and Senate legislation will raise premiums and increase the federal deficit. They do virtually nothing to lower costs. The president's plan is simply not economically feasible, especially at a time when 1 in 10 Americans is without a job and struggling to make ends meet.
During the speech, President Obama chastised Republicans for not offering an alternative plan. Again, he is simply wrong. House Minority Leader John Boehner introduced a bill last year that would not break the bank and offered many commonsense reforms. The president and Democratic leadership simply chose to ignore it.
America needs and deserves smart reform that focuses on the needs of real people. That's what we at the Center for Health Transformation have been doing for years, from reforming our civil justice system and eliminating fraud and waste to paying for quality care and expediting scientific breakthroughs. That's what real reform is all about. It is not a 2,000 page bill disguised as reform. Instead of forcing through a flawed piece of legislation, President Obama and Congress should go back to the drawing board, start over, and work to craft smarter bipartisan policies that delivers better care at a lower cost for the American people.