Reed Abelson of the New York Times goes over what every health care expert already knows will happen if the current Democratic effort to overhaul system fails:
The unrelenting rise in medical costs is likely to wreak havoc within the system and beyond it, and pretty much everyone will be affected, directly or indirectly.Here is Steven Benen's take on the current status of health care reform in Congress:
“People think if we do nothing, we will have what we have now,” said Karen Davis, the president of the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit health care research group in New York. “In fact, what we will have is a substantial deterioration in what we have.”
Nearly every mainstream analysis calls for medical costs to continue to climb over the next decade, outpacing the growth in the overall economy and certainly increasing faster than the average paycheck. Those higher costs will translate into higher premiums, which will mean fewer individuals and businesses will be able to afford insurance coverage. More of everyone’s dollar will go to health care, and government programs like Medicare and Medicaid will struggle to find the money to operate.
If reform comes up short, costs will soar, budgets will be pushed towards bankruptcy, the ranks of the uninsured will grow, those lacking coverage will die, premiums will get even more unaffordable, and our economic growth and workers' wages will be stunted.The Senate has already passed health care reform with a 60 vote majority. It only remains for the House to pass the Senate bill and for President Obama to sign it.
This isn't some wild-eyed speculation; this is simply a reality that no serious person contests.
When I read pieces like this, I sometimes just shake my head at public opposition to reform. We know the system is broken; we know we pay too much and get too little. We know the Republican attacks against reform proposals are wrong. Given the mess we're in, the demand for comprehensive reform should be overwhelming.
And yet, the resistance to sound ideas is fairly intense.
No, the Senate bill will not solve all the problems of the deteriorating health care financing system, but it is a solid start at doing that. It puts a framework into place. What remains is for Nancy Pelosi to round up 217 votes to pass the Senate bill in the House and the deed is done.
If it is delayed it will still have to be done, but it will cost a lot more and be an inferior system to the one the Senate bill envisions. The message we should be sending Congress is clear.