Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm Optimistic About Health Care Reform, At Least Today

By Dan Beauchamp

I'm a little worried that suddenly I find myself feeling more optimistic about health care reform.

My optimism often betrays me.

One reason for my optimism: I thought President Obama's press conference was very well done. The President sounded like he knew what he was talking about and how long has it been since that has occurred? About eight years.

Still, with all of my complaining about the Democrats (see other posts I've done at my blog, Tales of Copper City), I just think that not very many of them will want to have their names beside the "no" column when this health care debate is all over. And maybe slowing things down a little (until after the August recess) will make that pressure even more unbearable. We'll see.

I think we will get well over 50 Democrats in the Senate and maybe 55, supporting reform legislation. Nearly everyone knows that we won't be getting another chance like this for a very long time and to be marked down as a Democrat who says "no" is going to be tough during the next Democratic primary many of them will face.

And the news about health care insurance will be even worse.

The most powerful point the President made, the central point of the press conference, was when he said,

"You know, just a broader point, if somebody told you that there is a plan out there that is guaranteed to double your health care costs over the next 10 years, that's guaranteed to result in more Americans losing their health care, and that is by far the biggest contributor to our federal deficit, I think most people would be opposed to that.

Well, that's status quo. That's what we have now."

Even if it's been said before, it's wonderful.

Finally, here's a little-noticed comment by Senator Grassley, R.-Iowa. Grassley is quoted as saying he doesn't agree that if the health care reform plan fails, Republicans will benefit. Grassley points to polls that show the health insurance lobby and the Republican Party will get the major share of the blame. Obama gets blamed hardly at all. That's because there is no Obama plan; health reform is rightly perceived as the work of Congress where lobbying and Republican intransigence matter.

I think Republicans oppose it for two reasons, beyond taking Obama down: the smart ones know that if health insurance reform passes it will likely be very, very popular for the Democrats and that will not be good for Republicans in the years to come. And the grass-roots Republicans truly believe that it will destroy the American way of life. That and gay marriage.

Dan Beauchamp, Ph.D., is a health care expert who now lives in Bisbee, Arizona. This piece is taken from his blog, Tales of Copper City.

No comments: