Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Addressing Our Problems Head-On

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 at 10:40 am
Addressing Our Problems Head-On

In his press conference last night, the President explained why he is committed to the change in course on the nation’s priorities that his budget represents. In response to a question about the deficit, he expounded on the reasons for addressing so many decades-old problems head-on:

OBAMA: Of course I do, Ed, which is why we're doing everything we can to reduce that deficit. Look, if this were easy, then, you know, we would have already had it done, and the budget would have been voted on, and everybody could go home. This is hard.

And the reason it's hard is because we've accumulated a structural deficit that's going to take a long time, and we're not going to be able to do it next year or the year after or three years from now. What we have to do is bend the curve on these deficit projections. And the best way for us to do that is to reduce health care costs. That's not just my opinion. That's the opinion of almost every single person who has looked at our long-term fiscal situation.

Now, how do we -- how are we going to reduce health care costs? Because the problem is not just in government-run programs. The problem is in the private sector, as well. It's experienced by families. It's experienced by businesses.

And so what we've said is, look, let's invest in health information technologies. Let's invest in preventive care. Let's invest in mechanisms that look at who's doing a better job controlling costs while producing good quality outcomes in various states and let's reimburse on the basis of improved quality, as opposed to simply how many procedures you're doing. Let's do a whole host of things, some of which cost money on the front end, but offer the prospect of reducing costs on the back end.

Now, the alternative is to stand pat and to simply say, "We are just going to not invest in health care. We're not going to take on energy. We'll wait until the next time that gas gets to $4 a gallon. We will not improve our schools. And we'll allow China or India or other countries to lap our young people in terms of their performance. We will settle on lower growth rates, and we will continue to contract, both as an economy and our ability to -- to provide a better life for our kids."

That, I don't think, is the better option.


  1. The sad thing is that the conservative right is not offering any options. They simply sit back and take pot shots.

    America's future is hanging in the balance. Eight years of the previous administration fast tracking this country to a spirted and fiscal calaminty have come to roost. Let us hope that the wheels of government, designed to be slow, will overcome their obstacles of tradition. Let us hope they have the sight to move forward boldy and at least to safe the nation. Instead of fiddling as the great expermint sinks in to oblivion.

  2. Keynesian economics & perpetual growth
    theories are outdated & unsustainable.
    America can never compete with China
    or India if it follows the high debt
    high risk policies that the Fed & the
    Treasury promotes today. New age economists
    must learn to manage long drawn economic
    contraction without human misery.
    The trick is to reduce wastages and promote a
    culture of optimum resource utilisation
    The change from GREED to GREEN is just one
    word.... a small change in attitude
    For more read