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Senate bill draws kudos, continued doubts

J.K. Wall
December 2, 2009
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In the blogosphere, health-policy experts have given the Senate health reform bill kudos for trying everything under the sun to reduce health care spending, but there are lingering doubts about whether it will really work.

“I can't think of a thing to try that they didn't try,” Jonathan Gruber, a health economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told The Atlantic. “They really make the best effort anyone has ever made. Everything is in here. ... I can't think of anything I'd do that they are not doing in the bill. You couldn't have done better than they are doing.”

Even Mark McClellan, who ran the federal Medicare program for Republican President George W. Bush, praised the bill advanced by President Obama and congressional Democrats.

“It would be good if more could be done, but this is the right direction to go,” he told The Atlantic’s Ron Brownstein. You can read his piece here.

But at least one ardent Obama supporter doesn’t believe it will actually happen—and he doesn’t blame Obama. He blames Congress.

Jeff Goldsmith, president of Virginia-based Health Futures Inc. and a professor of public health sciences at the University of Virginia, lists five big areas where the health reform bills count on future Congresses to make tough decisions to hold down federal spending. You can read his blog post here.

And he has no faith that they will come through.

Polls show the American people tend to agree with him. A November Quinnipiac University survey found that only one in five Americans—and only one in three Democrats—believe health care reform will not add to the deficit.

“The reason almost no one believes health reform will be deficit-neutral,” Goldsmith wrote, “is our political system’s lavishly demonstrated inability to say no to anyone.”

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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