Health care experts have long said that a public health insurance option not only would provide lower-cost health insurance for those who choose it but would also force private insurers to lower their premiums. A public option was a key element of the 2009 House-passed version of health care reform, but it did not make it to the final bill.
Now, as lawmakers focus on deficit reduction, with many Republicans calling for cuts in health care benefits and shifting even more costs to working families, the creation of a public option as a deficit-reducing tool—along with its other benefits—is back on the table.
Cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid just so that millionaires and billionaires can continue to receive tax breaks and other giveaways? "We could not disagree more," says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in an Op-Ed in today's Politico, "Americans Don't Want 'Grand Bargain.'"
Why do deficit reduction plans always "seem to involve cutting taxes for the top 1% of U.S. income earners while cutting Social Security retirement benefits (average monthly check: $1,230 ) for everyone else?" asks Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik in his latest column.
House Republicans shed crocodile tears about the deficit in the same breath they cast votes for legislation like the Ryan budget plan, which asks the poor to pay for deficit reduction. The Ryan budget ends Medicare as we know it, guts low-income programs and gives millionaires anothertax cut they don’t need.
As much as the GOP claims they are the party willing to tackle the deficit (mainly by gutting federal programs), the House Republicans voted 33 times to increase the deficit. That’s right: 33.
The surest route to returning to the productivity, economic growth and employment the United States experienced in the post-World War II era and again in the late 1990s requires a substantial increase in public investments, a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) finds.
But the biggest obstacle facing any significant boost to public investments, writes EPI Economist Josh Bivens is “how myopic the economic debate about budget deficits has become in the United States.”
Today’s National Day of Action, called by Rebuild the Dream, the Alliance for Retired Americans and embraced by members of the Occupy movement, took an unlikely turn on Capitol Hill, as working and retired Americans joined together to tell lawmakers not to balance the budget on the backs of the 99 percent, as a joint congressional committee has threatened to do through proposed cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
President Obama today outlined a proposal to add $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue to pay for his proposed American Jobs Act to put Americans back to work. In a speech this morning from the White House, he said lawmakers need to focus first and foremost on creating jobs and challenged Congress to do so.