Game-changing tax laws were passed via reconciliation under former administrations, so healthcare legislation is not a first. While not true reform, it could be a step in the right direction by curtailing insurance company greed and increasing coverage. Reform is an ongoing process.
A step in the right direction
What is “of, by or for the people” in refusing to address a broken system? President Barack Obama caved on single payer and the public option and added reasonable “tweaks” suggested by Republicans in the latest version of legislation. People say they don’t want government involved in their healthcare yet rate Medicare as a highly valued service and demand greater oversight of electronic health records and medical devices.
Current care-delivery organizations—for-profit and not-for-profit—like payers, suppliers and pharma, are corporations set up to generate profits, not to deliver care, much less protect the public health. The escalating cost of care, poor quality outcomes and coverage for the uninsured and underinsured are issues that must be addressed regardless of payment model.
The “just say no” and stalling approach to healthcare reform aligns with Republicans’ stated overall 2012 campaign strategy to use “fear of Obama” and “move to socialism” as key scare tactics. If anything is scary, it’s the current state of the U.S. healthcare system.
Ann FarrellPrincipalFarrell AssociatesSan Francisco
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