Where is our health care reform?
Dr. Andrew Coates at the PNHP blog writes about the difference between health insurance “reform” (the bill that Congress is trying to pass) and true health care reform, something that could be achieved with a Medicare-for-All, single-payer health plan. Unfortunately, many Democrats and self-described liberals dismiss the notion of single-payer as unfeasible, pie-in-the-sky thinking. Coates calls this refrain not only condescending but tiresome:
The nation asked the Democratic White House and the Democratic Congress for health care and so far we have gotten “health insurance reform” with a bonus – restricted access to abortion . . .
Our nation can do without “insurance reform” that will criminalize the uninsured, subsidize unaffordable insurance premiums with rivers of tax money, protect pharmaceutical company superprofits at patient expense, hugely expand Medicaid in the face of nationwide state budget crises and thus quickly prove fiscally unsustainable. (Incidentally the insurance industry projects its price increases will reach between 79% to 111% by 2019, under the proposed “insurance reform.”)
Coates is right. The people wanted health care reform. What we’re being told to settle for is just another scheme to line the pockets of the private health insurance industry.