Obama’s New Plan

Some think the Obama plan spells real change.

by James Ridgeway
First published in his blog Unsilent Generation yesterday, 23 February 2010

...this exchange system and its supposed beneficial competition doesn’t mean lower costs. It just adds mind boggling confusion over what policies to pick.

Readers whose heads already are spinning in attempting to figure out what’s what with the President’s new health care reform scheme, might start to unravel the proposal by realizing that it essentially relies on middle class tax cuts and supposed new found competition through a system of exchanges along the lines now offered federal employees. Of course, people with no health insurance often don’t have the insurance because they don’t have the money to buy it. They need cash to purchase insurance not tax cuts in non existent or drastically reduced income. Second this exchange system and its supposed beneficial competition doesn’t mean lower costs. It just adds mind boggling confusion over what policies to pick. The exchange is like having to pick through a vast assortment of candy in a vending machine. Is a traditional Hershey bar a better deal than a bag of M&Ms? In addition, it should be remembered the federal employees are nowadays paying more for insurance, not less. Is this just another version of the game of smoke and mirrors the congress and Obama administration are laying on us?

Some think the Obama plan spells real change. Robert Greenstein, who heads the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal Washington, DC-based think tank that tracks social safety net issues, released a statement this afternoon in support of the president’s plan.

Greenstein Makes these points:

You can read the full statement at the web page or pdf.

Born in 1936, James Ridgeway has been reporting on politics for more than 45 years. He is currently Senior Washington Correspondent for Mother Jones, and recently wrote a blog on the 2008 presidential election for the Guardian online. He previously served as Washington Correspondent for the Village Voice; wrote for Ramparts and The New Republic; and founded and edited two independent newsletters, Hard Times and The Elements.

Ridgeway is the author of 16 books, including The Five Unanswered Questions About 9/11, It’s All for Sale: The Control of Global Resources, and Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, and the Rise of a New White Culture. He co-directed a companion film to Blood in the Face and a second documentary film, Feed, and has co-produced web videos for GuardianFilms.

Additional information and samples of James Ridgeway’s work can be found at and at his newest web site, Solitary Watch.

This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.

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This story was published on February 24, 2010.