President Obama was spot on when he said, “The fact is, health reform only works if you take care of all these problems at once,” while talking about increasing costs of health care and exclusionary health insurance company’s practices. We couldn’t possibly agree more on those two points. Unfortunately, what is proposed does not address all of the issues. Tort Reform, the only cure for Defensive Medicine, is blatantly, glaringly lacking. Why, then, are he and the rest of the Democrats insisting on pushing through a plan without Tort Reform? Why are they planning to use Reconciliation (an ironic choice of terms) to force through a “plan” which does not address all of the problems at once?
The motive may seem to be political. If one appraises such things along preferences in party line, it would seem as though the Democrats are hellbent, bound and determined to cram their concept down the throats of the American people, whether the people like it or not. They’ve categorically refused to start over on designing a HCR package. Obama has parted from fellow Democrats by saying that a piecemeal strategy would not work.
Why, then, would President Obama be so determined to force a plan through? Is he so worried about his legacy that he’d push a half-baked plan on through Congress? Surely he’d have to realize that it would be a huge mark against his presidency. So why continue to push for the unpopular Reconciliation tactic? A clue to his motivations may be found in what he said while speaking against postponing. President Obama retorted, “We have debated this issue thoroughly, not just for a year, but for decades.”
Therein lies great truth. Medical professionals have known for decades where the problems are to be found. It starts with the AMA, and their codings, coinciding all too conveniently with the insurance companies and their Policies and Procedures list. From that list, clerks have effectively been practicing medicine. It continues through to the greedy lawyers hawking their services on daytime television, which led us to the need for Tort Reform. Then there are the pharmaceutical companies, HMOs, and the lot — all of this “progress” that has us losing track of the basics of a doctor/patient relationship based on trust and respect. We know what the problems are, but we’re not doing anything about them. We weren’t even allowed a seat at the table.
The point of pushing HCR through via Reconciliation very likely has nothing at all to do with actually enacting a weak plan. Though it would begin collecting funds immediately by taxation, the proposal wouldn’t do anything constructive for at least 3 years, more likely a decade. What such an action DOES do, though, is to force the hand of Congress. By passing a vastly flawed program, the onus is upon subsequent sessions of Congress to patch the holes, or come up with a better plan. Once something ill-conceived has been passed, Congress cannot simply ignore and forget HealthCare Reform. They must take action. That may very well be what the President had in mind all along.