Where We Are Now on Health Reform

Dr. Quentin Young with former patient

Where We Are Now on Health Reform

Dr. Quentin Young
The Huffington Post
March 30, 2010

With the passage of the Democrats’ health bill, Congress and President Obama have created a new (and not so new) legislative framework for health care finance in the United States. Now that we’ve officially entered the post-legislative period, it’s worth noting how we got to where we are.

The for-profit insurers and their health industry allies sunk their claws into the legislative process early and hung on to the very end. The new bill largely reflects their handiwork. Stock prices for virtually all the leading private insurers remain high and have been trending upward. Investors are also bullish on the promising prospects for the drug companies and for-profit hospitals in the wake of the bill’s passage.

The attacks on the Democrats’ bill from the right-wing Republicans and their proto-fascist allies, including many so-called tea-baggers, were fierce, sometimes absurd and frequently despicable. The racist and homophobic assaults on supporters of the bill set a disturbing, new low for contemporary U.S. politics.

Politically, it can be argued that Obama and his administration squeaked through a highly significant victory, made so by the shameful strategies of the Republicans and their allies. It’s a fact that a defeat for Obama engineered by these reactionary forces would have poisoned the climate of political discourse seriously. Nevertheless, the bill is full of pitfalls that harbinger ill for the American public as patients. Continue reading Where We Are Now on Health Reform