Friday, December 05, 2008

Health-Care Reform Coming?

When Barack Obama tapped former Senate leader Tom Daschle to be the Cabinet member in charge of health policy, many took it as a sign that Obama was really serious about making health-care reform one of his key domestic agendas.

It's not surprising that we see this story that same week-
The health insurance industry said Wednesday that it would support a health care overhaul requiring insurers to accept all customers, regardless of illness or disability. But in return, the industry said, Congress should require all Americans to have coverage.

The proposals, put forward by the insurers’ two main trade associations, have the potential to reshape and advance the debate over universal health insurance just as President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take office...

To me, this is the health-care industry anticipating that major reform is coming, and wanting to set the debate to occur on their terms. They're scared, and so they're being proactive.

During the primary campaign, of course, Obama had expressed opposition to mandated insurance-- for reasons I agreed with-- and I'll be curious to see if/how that position has changed since then. I hope it hasn't.

Regardless, no matter how watered-down and industry-friendly a 'universal health-care' proposal we get, expect fierce opposition from a Republican party that believes that blocking these efforts is key to their party's very survival... not because it would be a bad move, but because they anticipate it being so popular with the average American that they would further gravitate toward the Democratic party (no shock, they've been stating exactly that for over a year now). A true party of the people.

I do imagine some form of major health-care reform is coming over the next few years. Though it won't be remotely close to what progressives ideally want, it will hopefully at least be a good first step.

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