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Ignoring cost containment

For all the President’s blabbing  about keeping costs down as a key component of healthcare reform, it didn’t take long for politics to win out over policy:

When Obama launched his health care project, the case for reform rested on two pillars. One was helping people who had no insurance or were otherwise struggling with the current system. The other was taking dramatic steps to halt the growth in costs. As the debate lurches toward a close, the emphasis in Obama’s plan now rests overwhelmingly on the first pillar — with only the most modest and preliminary measures being embraced for cost control.

“[…] And now, at least until after 2017, it doesn’t look like they will bend the cost curve,” said Ken Thorpe, an Emory University professor and Democratic health policy adviser.

Despite all of the rhetoric of the last year or so about cost-containment, there was never any serious attempt by the White House or the congressional Democrats to actually propose any serious cost bending provisions.  The problem of course, is that any real cost measures would involve rationing or abolishing the fee for service model—none of which was ever discussed.

I don’t expect liberals to be swayed on this but is there really anyone out there who still believes that healthcare reform is a truly genuine effort by Barack Obama to actually reform the system?  That it was never about politics?  Or that it was about putting a bureaucratic structure in place that would benefit his political donors for decades?

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