The healthcare debate is central to almost every concern in the nation at the moment. It affects our economy, it addresses the ominous spending-down of entitlement programs, it affects GDP, the deficit, personal income, small and large business success (e.g. healthcare premium pay-outs), and of course public health. It has threads in food production, agriculture subsidies, and culture (perks for exercising, not smoking, and other preventative strategies). What doesn't this debate address? I can see why it's such a bear to tackle, why the House Bill is over 1000 pages, why the men and women we've elected to Congress, ordinary people with an extraordinary task, are missing deadlines.
Those of us with health insurance are right now paying upwards of $1000/year to cover those who receive care but don't pay for it. That number is unnecessarily inflated. Treating head lice and poison ivy in emergency rooms is a logistical and financial nightmare.
While I was glad for the reassurance the President gave last night:
"This debate is not a game for these Americans, and they cannot afford to wait for reform any longer. They are counting on us to get this done. They are looking to us for leadership. And we must not let them down. We will pass reform that lowers cost, promotes choice, and provides coverage that every American can count on. And we will do it this year."I'm hoping that any legislation which gets passed doesn't look like the labyrinthine Medicare Act of 2003.
Here's the President's press conference from last night:
Here's the text of his remarks before he took questions:
Obama Makes Fresh Appeal on Health Care at Prime-time News Conference, PBS