‘So what?’: Bloomberg takes the long view on Obamacare hiccups

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"They made a mistake," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg today, referring to the glitchy rollout of the Affordable Care Act website. "So what."

Yesterday, President Obama apologized for the problems that have spoiled the public rollout of his signature health care law, but Bloomberg shrugged off the hiccups so far, and said he was unswayed by Republican criticisms of the law.

"The real question is, we have medical care that is gonna bankrupt us," Bloomberg said today on the John Gambling radio show. "We spend double what they do in western Europe, and they have a longer life expectancy. So, we are getting less and we are paying double the amount and we’ve got to do something about it."

"And I don’t know that Obamacare is the perfect answer," he went on. "I haven’t heard any other answer. ... And in fact, Obamacare is a lot of what the Republicans wanted ten years ago."

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Back in 1989, the Heritage Foundation published a book called "A National Health System for America," in which the conservative think tank argued for an individual mandate, and in 2006, one of its senior fellows spoke at the bill-signing ceremony for Mitt Romney's mandate-driven reforms in Massachusetts, which served as a model for Obama's legislation.

The fact that a conservative group argued for reducing the burden on taxpayers makes perfect sense to Bloomberg.

"What Obamacare to me does is it spreads the obligation to pay for medical costs out over the people who are receiving the benefits," he said. "Now, if they don’t have any money, no. But if they have some, they are for the first time gonna have to pay some of their costs. In the past, it was all paid for by the taxpayer, which means by people who make more money and pay more taxes. And this spreads it out. And for some reason or other, more conservatives are opposed to this. They want the people that pay taxes to pay more. And the people that receive the services to pay less. And the Democrats are on the other side of this. You would think it would be exactly reverse."

 

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