Saturday, November 19, 2011

Where Did Healthcare Reform Come From?

The endless round of debates between Republican Candidates for President have established quite clearly that the Health Care Reform the previous congress enacted came from conservative proposals offered in response to the 1990s effort by Hilary Clinton to address the problem and from subsequent demonstrations in the states, particularly Massachusetts,  of its feasibility, workability and legality.  This leaves one puzzled as to the real reasons behind the  loudly proclaimed opposition to the reform as 'liberal' or 'socialist'.  Outside of Congress the support for reforming health care came from a wide spectrum of citizens, health care organizations, churches and organizations that are not particularly liberal in their point of view.

The characterization of the reform as "Obomacare" strikes most voters as indicative of blatant opposition to the President as a person rather than any realistic attack on the reforms themselves. In a similar vein, the charge that 'Obama cut Medicare by $500m' is used to label the fact that the reform reduced Medicare costs, a goal supported by both Democratic and Republican candidates over several election cycles.

The reality is that the reform is not perfect and groups on the left, on the right and among human right supporters have good reasons to ask for changes to the law whereas its repeal would not solve those problems but would set back the human right to health care by several decades and return us to the rapid increase in health care cost that is inevitable without reform.

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