As I write this, “health care reform” is working its way through the halls of Capitol Hill. At this point it seems assured that it will survive the parliamentary posturing to become law.
I am both glad and horrified by the news. Glad that it’s at least something, including some very necessary restraints on the private health insurance business. But horrified that (a) it really ONLY amounts to some regulation of private health insurance, (b) those reforms, without a public option or any concerted overhaul of how health care is provided in the United States, are likely to make healthcare even more expensive for many (including myself), and (c) the political posturing, even from both sides of the aisle, was so dysfunctionally entrenched, and just as frequently paranoid and obtuse, as to prevent a better solution from emerging.
I will be quite candid: I am no fan of Nancy Pelosi. Yes, the political values she represents are my values as well. But I thought both she and Rahm Emanuel were both so politically aggressive and obnoxious as to prevent good policy from emerging. On the other hand, maybe the heavy-handed strategy was necessary to get at least *something* done. The pushback by so many conservatives, and even some Democrats, against the notion of a public solution to health care provision was frightening, bewildering, and counter-productive to any of their stated agendas, and that’s what I write about here.
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