Former Senator Dave Durenberger leads the National Institute of Health Policy at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He sends out a commentary newsletter on a regular basis and comments on political events related to healthcare. His wisdom is above the unfortunate deadlock of our leadership in Washington, D.C.
The following are a few comments from Senator Durenburger.
The Fiscal Cliff for Obamacare
The threat to the future of Obamacare comes not just from Republican repealers or from health industry leaders. It comes from the “fiscal cliff” which Congress created in 2011 during the debt ceiling debate. The most attractive targets for spending cuts will be the 10 “out-years” of anticipated payments to health care providers for Medicare, Medicaid and the coverage expansion in Obamacare.
Why This May be an Inevitable Outcome
The latest Associated Press poll of Obamacare shows seven out of ten Americans expect Obamacare will not be repealed. Only 12% of us want it repealed. The latest MN poll shows President Obama leading Romney in MN by seven points, but Obamacare supporters trailing repealers by two. Why? Because neither the president who made Obamacare his legacy nor the Senators and Congressmen who gave him their votes to make it happen have ever made the case for the new law. Health reform is already happening in Minnesota. A system which is higher quality, more accessible and affordable is evolving. It needs a payment system which rewards reform. That’s Obamacare. But re-elections have trumped good policy once again.
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Jerry Lovrien has held positions of Chief Executive Officer at health and behavioral health facilities in Minnesota and Washington State. He served successfully as State Director/Commissioner of Health and Behavioral Health in Georgia, West Virginia and Minnesota. Jerry has taught high school through graduate courses and is currently an Instructor with Minnesota School of Business.