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Bloomberg Predicts Health Care Law Will Be Defunded

Bloomberg Predicts Health Care Law Will Be Defunded

By Scott Conroy - February 15, 2011

In a video posted on an Orthodox Jewish online news publication on Monday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is seen discussing at length his critical views of the health care reform law, suggesting that it does not address the most pressing issues facing the health care system both nationwide and in the city he governs.

In the video, Bloomberg is shown paying a visit to members of a mourning family who had recently lost their brother. After Bloomberg offers his condolences, one of the family members noted that his brother was in the emergency room for 73 hours before he died and said that overcrowding in emergency rooms in New York had become out of control.

"It's going to get worse with the health care bill and with the government's cutbacks," Bloomberg said, predicting that hospitals would close due to a lack of funding. "All of these costs keep going up. Nobody wants to pay any more money, and at the rate we're going, health care is going to bankrupt us."

Asked what he would do to improve emergency room care, Bloomberg proposed immigration reform to make it easier for doctors from foreign countries who study in the United States to obtain green cards and suggested that tort reform would also help with controlling costs.

Bloomberg, who has denied rumors that he is interested in mounting a self-funded, independent presidential campaign in 2012, said that the country needed to start making tougher decisions about where to devote its resources when it comes to health care.

"If you show up with prostate cancer and you're 95 years old, we should say, ‘Go and enjoy. Have a nice (inaudible). Live a long life. There's no cure, and we can't do anything,'" Bloomberg said. "If you're a young person, we should do something about it. Society's not ready to do that yet."

Bloomberg has previously voiced criticism of the health care reform law, and in the video he reiterated his concern that the law does not address the issues of cost and level of care.

Asked if he was in favor of repealing the law, Bloomberg did not answer the question directly but did offer a prediction.

"I think the Republicans will unfund it," he said. "Having said that, you still need some solutions. And saying ‘no' is not a solution. So I'm not -- you know, some stuff I don't like, but being against everything is mashugana as well."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on the Laura Ingraham Radio Show on Monday that Republicans were considering using a "continuing resolution" that would fund the government for the fiscal year to defund the enactment of health care reform, The Hill reported.

Scott Conroy is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at sconroy@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearScott.

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