Health Reform Not So Bad–Pass now, Amend Later

The republican strategy to oppose and campaign against health reform is the best news the country could have as it will be disastrous for republican election hopes.

Consider the millions who benefit from the bill; the cost savings accruing from health reform; the disappearance of medical expense caused bankruptcy; the fact that we are the last industrialized nation to have some form of national health scheme.

If the bill had passed during the Clinton administration is likely the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies would have been avoided.

This in support of health reform from the December 2, NEJM article by Jonathan Gruber, Ph.D.

One common refrain of opponents of reform is that it represents a government takeover of health care. But reformers made the key decision at the start of this process to eschew a government-driven redesign of our health care system in favor of building on the private insurance system that works for most Americans. The primary role of the government in this reform is as a financier of the tax credits that individuals will use to purchase health insurance from private companies through state-organized exchanges. In Massachusetts, which passed a similar reform in 2006, private health insurance has expanded dramatically. The public insurance alternative that is included in the Senate bill simply adds another competitor — on a level playing field — to the insurance market, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that it will enroll only a tiny minority of Americans.


A second criticism is that the bills are budget busters. This is simply incorrect. Both bills are completely paid for — indeed, both would reduce the deficit by more than $100 billion over the coming decade. And the CBO estimates that both would reduce the deficit even more in the long run, particularly the Senate bill with its strong cost-containment measures.

Regarding Medicare

In any case, there is substantial evidence that reducing these overpayments will not harm the health of Medicare patients — just the pocketbooks of those who profit from them. This reform would simply use market bidding to set the reimbursement rate for Medicare Advantage plans, rather than setting administrative prices, which have traditionally been much too high; and it would reduce payments to hospitals by a small percentage, while tying them to outcome measures.

and so on.

Medicynical Note: Perfect, NO. A good start, yes!

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