Obama’s Contempt for the Free Market

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While President Obama and the then-Democrat controlled Congress strutted with pride on the enactment of the nation’s budget-busting health-care overhaul, the CEO of a major private corporation offered to “improve the quality and reduce the cost of health-care by $900 billion” for free. But Obama turned it down.

Sam Palmisano, chairman and CEO of IBM, revealed this historic incident in a little-known interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Alan Murray, editor of the paper’s on-line program. But, strangely, the jarring rebuff by Obama seemingly was brushed aside by the Journal.

No stranger to health care, IBM announced April 11 that it was marking its 100 years in business by celebrating its “contributions to fighting infectious diseases and contributions to world health.” Over the years, IBM has created hardware and applications specifically designed to improve care, diagnosis, and treatment of disease and advance how medical knowledge is shared.

A blog, Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential, on Feb. 23 said IBM’s CEO had offered the administration a free software program that “would have cut Medicare and Medicaid fraud by almost a trillion dollars.” The transcript of the interview, which I obtained, isn’t clear, however, how Palmisano was offering to solve the health crisis.

If the administration had accepted IBM’s offer, it could have saved the taxpayer at least $700 billion piled on the budget deficit over 10 years, not to mention the frustrations and confusion caused by the ever-building bureaucracy of the Affordable Care Act, commonly called ObamaCare. Enacted March 23, 2010, the law’s costs were detailed in a Washington Post story in January.

The revealing transcript of the Sept. 14, 2010 program, which IBM gave me, “speaks for itself,” an IBM spokesman said. He declined to explain or elaborate further. Palmisano said he had been at the White House talking about ways to improve the functioning of government, but “we haven’t made much progress. I mean, we’ve done tons of work, and for whatever sets of reasons, we haven’t been able to establish being in synch with the priorities. I’ll give you one example. We could have improved the quality and reduced the cost of the healthcare system by $900 billion….It was self funding. You could have insured anybody you wanted to, illegal aliens, dogs, cats, ponies, whatever you want….It did not require any big legislative change to do that.

Murray: So, why wouldn’t they do it? That’s money on the table.

Palmisano: You’d have to ask them….I said we’d do it for free to prove that it works.

Murray: Why?

Palmisano: You’d have to ask them.

Murray: But so, that gets to kind of a fundamental question.

Palmisano: Free. Free wasn’t good enough.

Murray: But “why” is the right question, right? I mean…

Palmisano: I think what it is, I mean, not to be judgmental about these things: I really do think what it is is that we weren’t aligned with the priorities of the Administration…. So, the priority at the time, if I stay on my example of health care, was not to reduce costs and improve quality. It was to provide insurance and coverage for more people….All we said, if you did this you could fund the priority without increasing the deficit, taking taxes up. And we couldn’t sell the case.

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  • Bill

    Not at all surprised at this. the Obama Ministry of Citizen Control requires that, regardless of cost, any enacted law or executive order must first, provide control to the regime, secondly, must make the people reliant on the wind-blown policies of the regime, and third, must offer a mechanism for the regime to favor chosen groups and organizations by reducing their cost or allowing them to be exempted. Obama's health-control scheme did all of these.

  • 080

    Well, that's only fair. The free-market doesn't like him either.

  • ROSE

    Lets face it, Barry SORTORO AKA B.HUSEIN OBAMA,. IS ANTI-AMERICAN, HIS MISSION IS TO DESTROY AMERICA WHICH HE IS DOING A GOOD JOB.

    He has almost done as much damage to this country as the earth quake has done to Japan. a lot of the damage is still hidden and Obama continues with his plan, because he think he will be president for life IN OTHER WORD HE IS GOING TO BECOME DICTATOR OF THE U.S.A. NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKE. This is my opinion. If he has to get his friendly terrorist to attack the U.S. he will , HE CAN WITH NO FANFARE., STATE THIS COUNTRY IS IN A STATE OF EMERGENCY. You must remember the UNITED STATES WAS PUT IN A STATE OF EMERGENCY UNDER BUSH IT HAS NEVER BEEN LISTED, my opinion he will use it to stay in power. cheat, kill, what ever it takes.

    PEOPLE YOU SHOULD START YELLING IMPEACH BARRY SORTORO AKA OBAMA NOW AND TRY HIM AND HIS HORDES FOR TREASON. I'M SCARED 2012 WILL BE TO LATE,

    THIS IS MY OPINION WHICH I CAN EXPRESS BECAUSE THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES GIVES ME FREEDOM OF SPEECH I HAVE A REASON FOR LISTING THIS PARAGRAPH

  • Wesley69

    Ego? TO HELL WITH THIS PRESIDENT'S EGO! WHAT HE HAS DONE IS CRIMINAL!!

    I can guarantee if IBM were to offer it to the, hopefully, next Republican adminstration, their offer would be accepted. I don't know how many times I have used the phrase, "this is a disgrace," but IT IS MORE THAN THAT – IT IS A BETRAYAL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

    HOW? Rather that achieve $900 billion cost reduction, these bastards( not the word I'd like, prefaced by some colorful adjectives) would prefer this country BORROW more money, increasing the deficit, endangering the future for our children and their children. It is easy to see, this administration wants a transformation all right – a transformation into a total welfare-government directed state.

    Win the future, Barry? Win it how? Winning for whom? Soros & his gang? Your union thugs? Your Marxist environmentalists? This report needs to be repeated again and again. It needs to make it to Fox News, to Sarah Palin, to the Reguplican House, and yes, to Donald Trump. This travesty against the American people MUST be exposed.

    Only 4 hits on this article? It needs a catchy title such as Presidential Malpractice 101 or Obama's Ego Screws WE THE PEOPLE, or Incompetience or Deliberate??

  • Ted

    Obama delivered more people into this corrupt system we already had, forcing us to buy insurance from a system that is designed to profit on people's misery and poor health. If only we had the political will to stop this insanity of corporate / government merging. Case study on fraud for Medicare Part D "Part D adds $5 billion in annual costs due to needless administrative complexity and $70 billion in annual costs because it prohibits Medicare from using its bulk-buying power to negotiate lower prices." 700 billion should have been saved decades ago. Health care does not cost this much for a whole nation, and we don't even cover everyone. The profits are being delivered into Insurance and Pharmaceutical companies open hands. And guess who was a big donor to Obama's campaign… No wonder he didn't fix the system – just tweak it just enough to keep the people quiet..

  • Ted

    Report on how Medicare Part D passed with corruption built in, and costing the tax payers billions each year. 400 billion each year, to be exact. We don't even need IBM after we close this loop hole http://tinyurl.com/3c3ojqr