by Mimi Johnson, NCL Health Policy Associate
… and by redirecting taxes on the rich, instituting pollution surcharges, and cutting back on such things as farm subsidies, the President hopes to save money and help YOU. By raising taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, Obama says he hopes to redirect the nearly $318 billion (over ten years) of increased revenue to the “health care reserve fund.” This fund of over $640 billion would help “finance fundamental reform of our health care system that will bring down costs and expand coverage.”
The budget also “accelerates the adoption of health information technology and utilization of electronic health records,” expands research – both in comparing the effectiveness of medical treatments and to better understand and fight cancer, and ultimately invests in health care infrastructure to help rebuild the health care system. Current government agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration would be strengthened and standards raised.
The federal budget won’t get out of the red anytime soon, though. In fact, the stimulus will send us further into debt, by spending money to employ Americans and rebuild our country, before we start to see an increase in revenue.