Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Why "health reform lite" is hard

From Timothy Noah at Slate Magazine

Even before members of Congress went home to town hall meetings where they were shouted down by rude, sometimes violent right-wing protesters against "death panels," publicly funded abortions, and other bugaboos, health reform had hit a few speed bumps. The Senate finance committee, once regarded as the lead panel on health reform, has been unable to produce a bill. Because Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., fetishizes bipartisanship to the point of excluding from his "gang of six" negotiators the chairman of finance's own health subcommittee, it has been laughably easy for obstructionist Republicans like Mike Enzi of Wyoming to impede progress. On the House side, health reform squeaked through the energy and commerce committee, 31-28—but only after the committee agreed to rebates for the Medicare drug program that the White House has promised PhRMA it won't support. Clearly, comprehensive health reform will be hard to achieve.

You want simple? Enact single-payer.

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