Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Healthcare Reform WILL come

We have had national healthcare for years: through our bankruptcy courts, through Medicaid and Medicare and the VA, and on the backs of our large industrial companies. The last group needs relief from this burden and the AMA will just have to take it. See A Promising Convergence on Health and Ruth Marcus' Crunch Time for Fixing Health Care.

Some evidence of what is coming and why:
Support Growing for Major Changes to Health-Care System - washingtonpost.com:

"A coalition of hospitals, insurers, employers, physicians, drug makers and consumers released a report yesterday endorsing a set of policy changes that could cut in half the number of uninsured Americans.

Most notably, the group, known as the Health Reform Dialogue, calls for creating an 'individual mandate' that would require every American to have some type of health coverage. Anyone who cannot afford insurance would be eligible for subsidies or expanded government programs such as Medicaid.

'We should seek to ensure coverage for all,' the group concluded after six months of private, professionally facilitated negotiations."

The results are noteworthy because it is the first time that such a varied mix of special interests -- "strange bedfellows," in the words of one participant -- have coalesced around significant changes to the U.S. health system. The signers include the American Medical Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, two hospital groups, AARP and the liberal consumer advocacy group Families USA.

Eugene Robinson - A Hand in the Health Care Debate - washingtonpost.com:
"What is relevant is that I have good insurance, which I obtain through my employer, and haven't paid a dime out of pocket for my treatment. If I were among the 46 million Americans who are uninsured, I'd be looking at a huge hospital bill. No one should face financial ruin because of a mishap with a fork and an avocado. The way we ration health care now -- according to the individual's ability to pay -- is immoral, and if higher taxes are needed to ensure that no one has to choose between health and bankruptcy, I'll pay. That was my position all along, but now it's personal.

What's changed is that I also feel more strongly about the ability to make my own choices. I decided where I would be treated and, ultimately, what would or wouldn't be done. I'm willing to pay for that, too."

What I am not understanding are the Democrat politicians who are scared of national healthcare.
Baucus, Pelosi clash on health care - Manu Raju and Alex Isenstadt - POLITICO.com: "
“The fact of the matter is that I don’t think the House is really thinking through the affect that reconciliation is going to have on the end game,” Baucus said. “And the end game is much more in jeopardy under reconciliation.” Baucus added that “many, many Democrats” in the Senate do not think it’s a wise move.

This argument over procedure has pit Democratic leaders against committee chairmen from their party, who, along with Republicans, are warning against using the fast-track budget process to enact one of Barack Obama’s signature initiatives.

Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, a conservative Democrat who is skeptical of the proposed spending increases, said adding reconciliation provisions would cost Democrats his vote."

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