POLITICS

Obama acknowleges need to change Obamacare

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

President Obama acknowledged more openly than he has to this point in the campaign the need to revisit his health care law if he wins a second term.

"We are still spending 17 or 18 percent of our GDP on health care," Obama said yesterday during a fundraiser in Chicago.  "Other countries spend 11 or 12 percent and they're still getting better outcomes."

Then, referring to changing Obamacare, he added that "the health care bill that we passed is pushing us in the right direction, but we're going to have more work to do on that front."

Obama's remarks indicate he plans to change the law even if the Supreme Court leaves the legislation intact. The Democrats had to give up a lot to get the bill through Congress in 2009 and 2010.

The bill's proponents wanted a public option during the health care debate, but dropped that aspect to build support in Congress. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., explained at the time that Democrats really wanted a single-payer, government-run health care system. "I think that if we get a good public option it could lead to single payer and that is the best way to reach single payer," Frank said. I think the best way we’re going to get single payer, the only way, is to have a public option and demonstrate the strength of its power."

Bloomberg reported this week that Obama, in his off-the-record discussions with donors, tells them that he might need to redo Obamacare in his second term if the Supreme Court strikes down the some or all of the legislation.

 

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