If we can’t have real health care reform in this country, I would rather that we stick with the current system. I know that sounds crazy. And it isn’t that I like the current system — I hate it — but I don’t want to see some half-assed reform that would (at best) be only marginally better than what we currently have and would delay real reform. There are powerful forces opposing health care reform in this country, and I’m sure that if they are unable to kill health care reform, they will do their best to make the new system worse than what we have now. After all, if the Democrats manage to pass health care reform that people like (at least as much as they like Medicare), then the Republican party will be in even worse trouble than they are now.
Consider the “reform” that added prescription drug benefits to Medicare. It was primarily a huge giveaway to the drug companies — who are now using that money to lobby Congress to oppose health care reform. And the drug benefit is so unbelievably complicated that hardly anyone really understands it. What are the chances that we will be able to fix prescription drug benefits in the future? Don’t hold your breath.
What is clear to me is that our current system is horribly broken. So even if we don’t get reform now, we will get it eventually. And I’d rather have real reform.
So this is what I think should happen. If we don’t get a bill through Congress with a real public option and which does not control costs properly, I think we should kill the bill. At that point, we can ask the Republicans — who all claim to be in favor of health care reform (just not the reform that Obama wants) — to come up with their reform bill. Of course, most likely they won’t be able to come up with anything, but even if they do, I’m sure that a cost analysis will show (just like their Medicare Drug Benefit) that it will cost lots of money for little or no benefit. At which point, we can show that for the same (or less) money, we can have a system like they have in every other freaking industrialized nation in the world that will work much better.
How about it? Are you willing to say no to compromise? After all, lack of health coverage is killing tens of thousands of Americans every year. How can we compromise on any solution that doesn’t solve that problem? And yet, most of the bills currently working their way though Congress — even some that claim to provide a “public option” — do not solve this problem.