Let’s Focus on the Objectives

I suspect I agree with Bob Herbert more than any other mainstream print columnist I read, but I disagree with his assessment that the now likely health care reform will be a bad thing.

First Herbert’s description of probable health care reform from today’s column:

“If the oldest and sickest are on Medicare, and the poorest are on Medicaid, and the young and the healthy are required to purchase private insurance without the option of a competing government-run plan — well, that’s reform the insurance companies can believe in.”

But doesn’t that description accomplish one of the two goals of health care reform: to cover more people?  Who really cares who is covering whom, as long as everyone is covered with a decent set of health care benefits?  The fact that insurance companies will make profits may matter on other non-health care related issues, but on the issue of coverage, it does not.  Most health care insurance profits are regulated already in one way or another. I’m therefore not opposed to the solution that Herbert describes. 

Of course, there is still the other objective of reducing costs.  Universal coverage, technology fixes and new regulations, all in proposed health care reform, will take care of some part of the funding problem.  But the U.S. won’t really be able to cut health care costs until we as a nation live a healthier lifestyle.  Again, that has nothing to do with insurance reform.

FYI, Herbert’s comments on drug manufacturers in the same column are on point.

opedge
20 comments on “Let’s Focus on the Objectives
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  11. Dee Kostecki says:

    Barack Obama in addition to all of his socialist mafia really should be embarrassed with them selves. This is certainly a total outrage. I was under the idea that once the chief executive takes office he is required to swear an oath that will uphold and also protect the constitution of the united states. Nowhere within the Constitution does it grant the administration the power to enact and also implement laws and regulations like the medical reform bill. It’s my opinion that these power mongers are going to be in for a genuine surprise in November. Best wishes over the ruin of your political careers.

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  19. annuity says:

    The problem with this country is BOTH the Democrats and Republicans. Anyone who seriously thinks that one side isn’t corrupt or slaves to Corporate America hasn’t done an adequate job of paying attention. To the Republicans: The GW administration will go down in History as one of the worst administrations. They eroded your constitutional rights, expanded the power of the wealthy elite, invaded countries under false pretenses, destroyed diplomatic relations with the rest of the world, and spent money like it was going out of style. To the Democrats: Obama is a dud. He promised much and has turned out to be another corporate lackey. He made deals with big pharma to ensure you could not get your medication cheaper elsewhere, he flip flopped on military tribunals, he refuses to fix health care properly through nationalization or single payer, he populates his inner circle with more Wall Street insiders, he spends money on bailouts and useless stimulus packages.

  20. paul sheldon says:

    Geting full insurance coverage is, conceptually, a good idea. However I do not see that insurance coverage by the capitalist “privates” is (or ever can be) effectively regulated by the government. If private money rules the health insurance industry (as I believe it does), it will function for the sake of the owners rather than for the people. Goverment is imperfect, but I trust the people (if we can get the truth to them) more than the owners.

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