Friday, July 24, 2009

Rahm: Republicans Charged 2003 Prescription Drug Bill

Rahm Emanuel adds perspective to the health care debate in an interview with NPR this morning:
Fiscally conservative Democrats have also raised concerns about cost, but Emanuel urged the country to take a step back and think about the scale of what Congress is trying to accomplish.

"For 40 years, we've had a debate about health care that was solely about expanding coverage. For the first time, you have the dual goals of controlling costs and expanding coverage," he said.

"We're not just running it up on the credit card, which is how they did the prescription drug bill," he said, referring to the passage of a bill in 2003 under a Republican-controlled Congress that added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare.

"They charged it, which is a $900 billion charge," he said. "And nobody paid for it."

Emanuel sees giving more power to a commission already in place to advise Congress on how to hold down Medicare spending as key to keeping costs under control. Read the whole thing