Saturday, August 8, 2009

Health Insurance Reform or Health Care Reform? The President Gets It Right!

Advocates of the health care bills now pending in Congress, led by the President, have been calling for health care reform. They argue that our health care system is unsustainable as it is. Not only do we need to create a system of universal coverage but also we need to do it in a way that is sustainable, affordable, and doesn’t continue to add to our deficits.

They are right.

But, for months I have been saying that the health care bills in the Congress have not been health care reform bills but expansions of the health insurance entitlement with some cost containment “lite,” a little shaving off provider payments (a cut of about 1% from what providers would have received in aggregate over the next ten years anyway), and $500 billion or more in new taxes.

In his radio address on Saturday, the President used the term “health insurance reform” five times in talking about why we need legislation this year and not once did he call for health care reform.

The President said, "We must lay a new foundation for future growth and prosperity, and a key pillar of a new foundation is health insurance reform - reform that we are now closer to achieving than ever before."

I believe we need a lot more than health insurance reform—we desperately need health care reform--for all the reasons the President said we did when he first opened this debate.

But at least he’s now calling it what it is.


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