Last week’s bipartisan summit on health care reform seems to have done little, if anything, to build support for the President’s vision of health care reform. Strong opposition to the Democrats’ proposals remains the position of a majority of Americans. And now, even the President’s biggest fans are following suit.
In an interview‘ with CNBC, Warren Buffett, a Democrat and supporter of President Obama, advised the President to follow the wishes of the American people to scrap the current health care legislation and start over. Buffett highlighted the failure of Democrats’ proposals to address cost as his biggest concern:
We have a health system that, in terms of costs, is really out of control…And if you take this line and you project what has been happening into the future, we will get less and less competitive. So we need something else.
But concerning the current proposals before Congress, Buffett lamented that, “unfortunately, we came up with a bill that really doesn’t attack the cost situation that much.” Buffet’s concerns have been certified by the President’s own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who have reported that the Senate health care bill would raise national health expenditures by $234 billion by 2019.
Buffett advised that the President scrap all the backroom deals and unpopular provisions of the current bills, and focus primarily on cost. Buffett explained that lowering costs should even take precedence over expanding access to care, since he does not believe “in insuring more people till you attack the cost aspect of this.” Since cost is one of the current roadblocks to expanding accessibility of coverage, the President would be wise to heed Buffett’s advice.
Buffett also addressed one of the most crucial reasons behind the need for the President and congressional Democrats to start over on health care reform, and that is the profound absence of support among the American people. Said Buffett:
If it was a choice today between plan A, which is what we’ve got, or plan B, what is in front of — the Senate bill, I would vote for the Senate bill. But I would much rather see a plan C that really attacks costs. And I think that’s what the American public wants to see. I mean, the American public is not behind this bill. And we need the American public behind the bill, because it’s going to have to do some tough things.
Democrats’ health care proposals would overhaul one sixth of the nation’s economy through an unpopular federal takeover of the health care system.
As Warren Buffett’s interview with CNBC showcases, even the Left’s biggest fans are coming to realize this is a bad idea. As talk of passing a bill through reconciliation intensifies, Democrats should instead take into consideration the other options before them, which include several incremental changes that would garner bipartisan support in Congress and among the American people.