Bloomberg: No One’s Read Health Bill

Monday, 28 Dec 2009 02:09 PM

By Dave Eberhart

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Touted by President Barack Obama's camp as a pro-healthcare reform advocate, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has suddenly put a damper on his enthusiasm, lamenting that the nation’s legislators don’t even know what’s in the bills they’ve passed.

"You know, if you really want to object to something in this bill, number one, I have asked congressperson after congressperson,” Bloomberg told The Huffington Post. “Not one can explain to me what's in the bill, even in the House version — certainly not in the other version.

"And so for them to vote on a bill that they don't understand whatsoever, really, you got to question how — what kind of government we have,” Bloomberg added. “Number two, when they talk about bending the curve — as the governor said — bending the curve is a flimflam euphemism for increasing costs, but we're going to say we'll do it at slightly lower rate than we would have otherwise.

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"They are not talking about reducing costs," he concluded. "They're talking about changing the first derivate, slowing the growth down. And when you look at where the cost savings are going to be, well, they're going to cut something out of Medicare and Medicaid. Now anybody that runs for office will tell you, you don't do that. I mean, the bottom line is it's so politically explosive, it really would be a first time in the history of the world that they ever cut anything [from those programs]."

While the White House has showcased Bloomberg as a supporter of getting the reform legislation passed, he has recently joined with New York Governor David Patterson, raising alarms that the bill would be ruinous to the state's budget and shut down 100 or more health clinics, according to the Huffington Post.

According to various media reports, the two say the Senate bill as it's currently drafted will hurt the state by depriving it of hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid funds. Bloomberg has also voiced concerns that the bill also fails to address the rising cost of healthcare, tort reform, and The increasing need for drawing doctors from abroad.

According to Patterson, the bill needs to reimburse states based on poverty levels — not on per capita incomes, as it currently does.


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