18 July 2009

Why health-care reform probably won't happen

I've had very little to say about health-care reform -- I don't have the necessary knowledge (nor, frankly, the interest) to contribute much of value, so I'd rather leave the topic to those who do.

Nevertheless, I'd be willing to bet that, in the end, reform will fail.

I've already mentioned a couple of land-mine issues (illegal-alien coverage, fear by the 85% who do currently have insurance that their choice or quality of care could decrease) that could lead to mass public rejection of reform. But these are just specific cases of the more general problem. Health care is one-sixth of the national economy and impacts an issue of great importance to people -- their health. The whole thing is just too big, too complicated, too emotionally-charged, with too many powerful constituencies and interest groups wanting a say, too many different ideas for what to do, too many people who would reject any type of reform other than their preferred one as being not a "real" reform.

This is not the kind of thing our political system handles well, even with one party overwhelmingly dominant.

Furthermore, health care is the textbook example of a good which people think they should have unlimited access to, regardless of whether they (or anyone) can pay for it. Anything that smacks of rationing will likely lead to a rejection of reform, even if rationing actually exists in other forms in the present system. Better the devil we know. Most of the insured 85% are happy enough with what they have. There isn't going to be a huge upsurge of public pressure to get this done.

The timing, too, could hardly be worse. We're just now entering a fragile economic recovery, and employment probably won't start to improve for at least another six months. Any new tax could be denounced, with some justice, as a threat to tip the economy back into recession.

There are already signs that the whole thing is falling apart.

Nice try, but I don't think it's going to happen.


Blogger Conrad Strong said...

Infidel there are major forces fighting reform but, for the first time, I have a little bit more hope that we will finally get healthcare reform, after talking about it for forty years. I say that cautiously for a couple of reasons. First, it's really hitting lots of us hard now and the pain does not follow party lines. Republicans are also worried that they may have their policy cancelled or claims denied. They've seen people wiped out financially and screwed over by the insurance companies and they finally realize that it could and very well might happen to them as well. Second, I feel that Obama is going to dig in on this and push to make it happen. In my opinion, failure to pass healthcare reform would signal a failed presidency. If we can't get this passed now, with Democrats in control of the White House and both houses of Congress and with the American people behind it, then the corporations really are running the country and we're all puppets. I'm cautiously optimistic but I do think for it to pass, it has to be done quickly. If given the proper time, the forces against are just too powerful and they will get the upper hand.

18 July, 2009 22:08  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Second, I feel that Obama is going to dig in on this and push to make it happen.

Well, that would make a nice change. With a tougher President the odds would be better, but so far Obama just doesn't seem to be a put-his-foot-down-and-get-it-done kind of guy.

18 July, 2009 22:57  
Blogger Brittanicus said...

It is a shame that some Americans are so gullible, to the outlandish propaganda and lies spat in the newspapers, television and radio about Obama’s health care agenda. They have demonized the British, Canadian and other worthy plans. Hidden under a disguise cover, these radical entities are determined to keep the special interest organizations in absolute power. Comprising of the money-draining profitable insurance companies and their rich stockholders. They don't want any changes to the broken system of medical care, because it will hurt the status quo. I was born in England, in the county of Sussex and until the inception of the European Union and the European Parliament dictating to Britain. That they must accept millions of foreign workers, the nations medical system was exemplary. I never had to wonder if I would have to file bankruptcy, to pay my medical bills, or listen to the incessant ring of debt collectors on the phone.

On several occasions I ended up in the cottage hospital and their was never a cost applied to it, never a ream of paperwork. Incidentally, I choose my own doctor where I Lived. The longest I waited for surgery was three months, as it was not an emergency. No doctor, no hospital or specialist asking me for my Social Security number, drivers license or if I was covered by a predatory for-profit insurer. No premiums, no-cops and pre-existing condition clauses. Yes! Didn't have a private room, but who cares? Today the British Isles is being submerged under a barrage of legal and illegal immigrants, who have never paid into the system, have caused some rationing. Prior to the importation of foreign labor my trips to doctor, to hospital, the eye or a dentist was paid from my taxation. Unless we pass a national health care agenda, Americans will never know what it's like to breeze through their lives, without worrying about paying for health care? Tell your Senators and Congressman you want an alternative to the--GET RICH-- insurance companies, before a Universal health care is killed. 202-224-312 REMEMBER THE INVESTORS AND STOCKHOLDERS DON'T WANT THEIR PIECE OF THE $$$TRILLION$$$ DOLLAR PIE DISTURBED. EVEN SOME POLITICIANS HAVE THEIR DIRTY FINGERS IN THE PIE?

19 July, 2009 15:25  

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