Thursday, May 28, 2009

Before We Get Bent About A Health Care Plan that Doesn’t Exist, Why Don’t We Use Our Energies to Debate Possibilities

President Obama has stated that health care reform must meet three principles:

First, the rising cost of health care must be brought down; second, Americans must have the freedom to keep whatever doctor and health care plan they have, or to choose a new doctor or health care plan if they want it; and third, all Americans must have quality, affordable health care.

I understand that untangling the health care mess is a difficult undertaking.  However, these are not unreasonable goals.  Therefore, I believe strongly that sensible reform is possible and that most people would approve of the final product.

Mind you, I said most people.  Yes, there are plenty of people out there using fear of the unknown to put a stop to any kind of reform.  What’s interesting to me is the fact that these people are fighting against a plan that doesn’t exist.  I would think that before an organization starts spending money, they would want to target their message specifically against those parts of the plan they take issue with.  I suppose waiting for the plan would defeat the purpose of helping to make peoples minds up for them before the fact.  I get it.

Ok, so there are folks with money who oppose health care reform.  What’s the alternative plan then?  Obviously, the American people want reform, otherwise the candidates wouldn’t have mentioned it during last year’s election.  Businesses want reform too as they’re being crushed under the weight of benefit costs, which, in turn, negatively affects the economy. 

Well, let’s see what the opposition party has for a plan…ok, well, here’s the Luntz health care playbook.  Seems there’s a lot of stuff here about what to say to combat reform, but no alternatives.  And, well, um, well, I can’t seem to find anything else.  Why is that Rob Portman, Ohio Senate candidate?

“We have to have an alternative. … I will tell you, I don’t think there is a Republican alternative at this point,” he said. He said he reached that conclusion after talking to Senate leaders and lawmakers about the GOP’s position. “There isn’t one,” he said. “There’s a task force, and I applaud them for that.”

Good, a task force. 

The Republican plan is exactly like all of their plans as of late.  That is, don’t change a thing.  In fact, they want the market decide.  The truth is, if the market was actually a factor, we wouldn’t be anxiously waiting for reform as the market would have taken care of it. 

Instead of fear mongering, let’s find out what the plan looks like and then debate it.  Sounds to me like a better use of time and resources.  Again, I believe, rather strongly, that if a proposed plan meets the Presidents three principles, then most people will be just fine with it.

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