The problem I’m having with the health care reform debate is that too many people are behaving as if it was 1993; and too many people are making a political football out of an essential service that gives Americans the best shot at the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The request to slow down the process is a dodge to give the health care reform opponents time to sharpen their knives. Perhaps in their minds there are no risks involved in picking apart a cadaver.
The unspoken word at the center of this debate is “profit.” But to be fair to the debate, here’s the Patients’ Choice Act introduced by Republican Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and Reprentative Paul Ryan (R-WI) in May. It states in 15 pages goals, purpose, philosophy, and even mentions “markets.” The PCA even suggests bringing in “models used by the financial services industry….like an ATM card” to access insurance and medical history records from an “independent” source.
The health care industry has taken a cue from Wall Street and like the Street these profit-driven communities are difficult for government to tame with so many interests at stake, private and political. There’s a lot of cash passing hands. Even I’ve gotten a hot stock tip or two based on the introduction of new meds. Or is this about the rising debt? I get confused in this debate.
As someone pointed out $1 trillion dollars is only half of what was spent on not finding the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
“No” is not going to go down very well with the public this time. The stakes are waaaay too high and the negligence by lawmakers has gone on for too long.
Nobel laureate, economist and NY Times columnist Paul Krugman doesn’t want this one to go down without some accountability attached to it:
If the Gang of Six really does kill reform, remember their names; they will bear the responsibility for vast, unnecessary suffering over the years to come.
And they are Democratic Senators Ben Nelson (NE), Mary Landrieu (LA) and Ron Wyden (OR), Independent Joe Lieberman (CT), and Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of ME.
Update: Nate Silver of Fivethirtyeight.com has posted another health care reform proposal from Senator Ron Wynden (D-OR) — The Healthy Americans Act or HAA. [Hawaiians may read someting life affirming in the acronymn.] The 2-page document has goals, philsophy and responsibilities spelled out. And according to Nate, HAA has bipartisan support. Even Nate’s a fan.