Skip to content

Thoughts on Health Care Reform

1. Republicans Lie.  I confess, sometimes while driving to work, I switch from NPR to the Sports Junkies, and on Friday this guy calls in to attack HCR because “the bill provides Viagra to sex offenders.”  He is talking about one of the frivolous, failed amendments Republicans offered in the Senate to derail the reconciliation bill, but makes it sound like there is some specific provision in the bill itself.  There isn’t, and so far as I know, the only class singled out is pregnant women, who can’t get federally-funded abortions (unfortunately).  There are some legitimate concerns about the bill (i.e. cost), but Republicans don’t advance the interests of the American people by spreading misleading statements.
2. HCR is not “socialist medicine.”  It doesn’t provide for government-employed doctors (except for the VA), it’s not single payer, it doesn’t even have a public option (unfortunately).  The approach is based on market-based reforms that honest Republicans should like. 
3. The “mandate” isn’t unconstitutional.  As I understand it, AG Cooch and others argue that the founding fathers established a constitutional right that you didn’t have to get health insurance.  So if you wrap your car around a tree and hurt yourself badly, you have a constitutional right to go to the hospital, pay medical bills until you and your family are bankrupt, and then have your costs covered by tax-payer funded Medicaid.  The Constitution was adopted to “promote the general welfare,” and it allows the government to tax you and in return provide medicare, medicaid, and social security benefits.  Likewise, the government is allowed to charge you an uninsured motorist fee.  The fundamental principle of HCR is that everyone should have access to good health care and have the financial ability to obtain that access.  We all contribute – and we have a multitude of options for doing so – and we all benefit.  Let’s move on.