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24 Aug, 2009 17:29

Health care debates heat up in US

The healthcare reform debates in the US are heating up. President Obama's administration has signaled that its plans may be diluted. The overhaul was named a top priority when Obama entered the White House.

Obama pledged to extend healthcare insurance to the 46 million U.S. citizens who are currently without it. The bill he has proposed will allow people in the U.S. to either keep the health insurance they have now or to opt for a potentially more affordable government plan.

Critics of the government-run health care system say it would destroy the private health insurance system in the U.S. Many point to a recent government plan to help out the auto dealers in this country. The “Cash for Clunkers” program provided an incentive for people to trade in their older vehicles for newer and more fuel-sufficient cars. The program began last month and was supposed to continue until November. But in the first month, the $1 billion that was allocated for the plan ran out and $2 billion more was reinvested in the program.

The “Cash for Clunkers” program was designed to stimulate the economy and boost auto sales, but many car dealers say it actually put them into major debt because they weren’t receiving the government rebate.

Many now say this program is how the government-run healthcare plan will look like. Legal analyst Nicole Kardell says this is a fair comparison.

Here I echo a lot of concerns of people who say that the government wasn’t able to handle a short-term, straight-forward program like “Cash for Clunkers,” said Kardell. “How can we trust them with healthcare reform that will be a major long-tem overhaul?”