It's too soon for health care reform

I'm going to put this as simply as I can: Americans will not have serious health care reform until there is a major mass movement behind it. Since when can we expect the politicians in Washington to enact something that would endanger or put of business entirely a multi-billion dollar industry like private health care? Just because it's the right thing to do? Just because it is what the country desperately needs?

Dream on. It's time for health care activists to get into the streets and show the politicians they mean business. Otherwise prepare to lose this round of the fight.

Whatever legislation is enacted by Congress will be far short of what is really needed. As I said in an earlier post, quoting former New England Journal of Medicine editor Arnold Relman, it is going to have to get worse before it gets better. Isn't that always the way?

Update: A Senate panel is close to coming up with a plan... that won't change much of anything.

More thoughts. As many here know, all of this talk about how much health care reform is going to "cost" is a total distraction from the truth of the matter. The answer is that a health care plan that included a public option would save Americans on the average a great deal of money, not cost them anything more. That's because wage earners and their employers would no longer be obliged to hand over the huge amount of money now given to profit-driven health insurance companies, which rake off huge administrative costs and profits.

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Anne Gilbert said…
No, it's not too soon for health care reform(and if anybody else talks about "health reform" I'm going to scream)/ Bit I'm not so sure you can get anybody out into the streets any more about much of anythign, but call me cynical, if you like.
Anne G
Anonymous said…
I believe reform is needed, but not from what I've seen in the first 500 pages.-(i.e. layers of commisioners and panels) I believe if Medicare and Medicaid were expanded a bit for those who can't qualify, it would help. Maybe some prices would fall as well for the insured and opening a door to more for affordable insurance. I think it's the fraud and high cost of health care and not the insurance companys causing the problem. I'm skeptical of any Gov. managed business.
Jacqui said…
I'm up to page 100 ( My favorite part is the insistance on 'plain language'. I think the bill violates its own new law. Page 26 says "NO RESTRICTIONS ON COVERAGE UNRELATED TO CLINICAL APPROPRIATENESS.—A qualified health benefits plan may not impose any restriction (other than cost sharing) unrelated to clinical appropriateness on the coverage of the health care items and services." What does that mean???
Chelsea Ferrin said…
The new senate "plan" is horrible! They want to fine people who don't buy health care. But ooh, they'll make it even by fining the insurance companies too. Whatever. Its complete crap! I've already written letters, made phone calls, no one listens! I like your blog by the way! I keep my own political blog (and health care is extremely important to me) you should check it out. I just started so there are only like 4 posts, but I'm trying to make it my goal to update every day. =)
Michael Balter said…
Thanks for your comment, Chelsea, I will check out your blog and good luck with it!