Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Throwing in the towel on health care reform...

That's what John Nichols at thenation.com says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is doing.
So, as it stands now, Reid appears to be ready to try and pass a health-care "reform" bill that includes neither a public option or and expansion of Medicare to cover millions of uninsured Americans in the 55-to-64 age bracket.

In other words, the legislation Reid will try to get passed before Christmas is not health-care reform any longer, it is insurance reform.

And even that is giving the proposal more credit than is probably deserves. The legislation expands access to health care to millions of Americans. That's a good thing -- perhaps even good enough to merit the support of reformers who are determined to get more care to more Americans. But it does so by setting up a scheme that uses scant federal resources to dramatically enrich insurance and pharmaceutical companies. And it fails to establish the government-backed competition, in the form of a public option of Medicare expansion, that might have kept insurance companies in line.

Thus, at the very best, just half the goal of serious reform is met. More Americans will have health-care. But that progress will be purchased at enormous, and potentially unsustainable, cost to the taxpayers.

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