Monday, March 19, 2012

Krugman on Health Care

Krugman takes a break from the European Debt Crisis this time to discuss the merits of Health Care Reform. Specifically, he touches on the fact that there is a lot of disinformation swirling around the media about the bill, and that much of the fear-mongering about it being a takeover of health care is flat out insanity.

Mostly, the problem is that all the fear about health care reform has been built on supposition and not so much on fact. People who disagree with it in principle have been hard-pressed to find things to criticize, so they have taken to voicing concerns about things that aren't there. Death panels? Not from HCR, but you wouldn't know that from watching FOX News. Skyrocketing costs? Not according to the CBO, which has released several reports that the costs of the bill are actually lower than anticipated. And the government mandate? Still there, but it doesn't destroy private health insurance. Instead, it bolsters it. There's no public option to compete with, and anyone who receives health care through their employer will see no change. Those who can't afford health care on their own will receive subsidy to get it, according to the law.

The biggest problems with the bill are that it is not being accurately represented, or explained, in the public square. It's being dragged through the mud by the GOP candidates, despite the fact that those pieces of HCR already enacted have helped millions of people. Anybody with a pre-existing condition can no longer be denied health care coverage by their insurance companies. That alone is a huge milestone, and ends one of the dirtiest tricks in the insurance industry.

Later this month, HCR goes before the SCOTUS. Whether it survives that or not is a matter of heated debate. Many seem to think it will be stopped, others aren't so sure. It comes down to the votes of the conservative justices, who hold a one-seat majority. I don't know whether it will stand up to the scrutiny of the high court, but I hope that it does. Some of the greatest innovations in the history of American Policy were unconventional at the time, and challenged the status quo. But that is what America has been for a long time: the land that challenges and changes based on the needs of its people.

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