Tag Archives: Financial protection

WHAT DO WE WANT FROM HEALTH CARE REFORM?

We recently witnessed the entry of yet another health reform bill, this time from Republicans promising, among other things, preservation of employer-based insurance.  This echoes President Obama’s similar pledge. Such rare bipartisan agreement is consistent with polls showing that most Americans are happy with their health insurance, just not its cost.

Unfortunately, that’s like a third of all Americans saying they’re happy about being obese, just not about its health risks. You can’t have one without the other.  The fact is that employer-based health insurance is, inherently, a big cause of our health care problems—so is Medicare.  I’ll go into more detail on the fundamental failings of both programs in subsequent postings.

Right now I want to focus on a more basic question: what are the goals we want health reform to achieve?  Trying to preserve one particular form of insurance, whether employer or government-sponsored, is not one of them. Allowing everyone to obtain affordable health insurance is.  Getting health care costs under control is not by itself a goal.  Getting sustainable quality and affordability is.

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