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Whither Goes Health Reform?

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (HMPRG)
September 2, 2009

The  National Health Law Program (NHeLP) shared this link to a post in today's  Politico by Mike Alleh and Jim Vandehei, titled " Under fire, President Obama shifts strategy"    as an indication of the "unhealthy" direction the Obama administration seems to be heading on health reform. 

The NHeLP email reminded us that "...if this positionwere adopted by a Republican administration, people would justifiably bescreaming that the government was openly selling out to the insurance industry. The nature of an action, however,  does not change because of the party, or thepurported motivation, of the actor.  What may be even worse is the effort topaint this contemplated capitulation as an act of courage against the “unreasonable” demand that health reform be meaningful, not just aminiscule improvement over the current chaos that passes as our “system.”  

NHeLP's email goes on to say,:  "Fortunately,today’s news also included a statement that the AFL-CIO will not support anyhealth reform without a  public option (which, lest we forget, was thecompromise in lieu of a single payer system that was agreed to by advocates ofhealth reform before real health reform negotiations even started).  So, now maybe the time for people who are not on the lunatic fringe to speak up.  Unlessmore people take the position of the AFL-CIO, we will surely get health reformwithout a public option, which, despite the administration’s attempts to spin itotherwise, is indeed indispensible to meaningful reform.  That is exactly whythe insurance companies and the Republicans are fighting so hard to keep it outof any bill that passes.  Without a public option, they understand that veryquickly life will return to business (i.e., the business of health care) asusual, with new abuses rising up to “compensate” for those that are addressed byhealth reform.  If that is your concept of health reform, then silence is anoption.  If not, then someone needs to hear about it. "