The issue has dragged on for months, even years if not decades and multiple presidencies. Presidents have come and gone and yet no substantive health-care reform has taken shape. Hillary Care was defeated during Clinton’s time and Obama care is walking a political tightrope in the senate. There have been both legitimate questions and pointless bickering on both sides of the political divide. Regardless of political affiliation, we need to move forward on the issue. Here’s where I think the debate should go.
Is it viable? Worth Trying? Is it dead?
A major sticking point has been the proposed public option. The concept behind it is a government organized service for those who can’t buy their own insurance. Even Republicans openly agree that the concept is good and that we ought to provide insurance for those who can’t afford it. In HK and Canada, a public option works brilliantly in sync with private insurer.
So what’s the problem?
Firstly, Republicans won’t like to loose the millions they get from business and the medical sector lobby. Not surprising given these statistics from Sunlight Foundation (http://blog.sunlightfoundation.com/2009/07/10/senate-finance-committee-health-care-influence-cluster-the-republicans/)
Secondly, they claim it’s tantamount to nationalization of the industry. They misquote portions of the bill without reading that the spirit of the public option is contrary and even if it were there, the text has a very different context.
Some moderates have proposed alternatives such as a trigger mechanism or the customer co-operatives mentioned. They have gained recognition but far less support than a Public Option. Even some Republicans appear to dislike these ideas. They appear as nice alternatives but certainly are less effective and accepted.
The concept and ideals behind the public option is correct. As long as the bill stays true to this and debuniks any false rumors, we won’t need to consider the less effective alternatives.