Saturday, February 20, 2010
Reaching Out across the Aisle
It seems to me that Obama reached out and across the aisle from the very beginning. He took a proposal to reform the health care system that was very similar to a plan Republicans had presented as an alternative to President Clinton's plan. Obama's plan is very similar to the plan enacted in Massachusetts and to a plan proposed by some Republican legislators here in California a few years ago. The features of this "Republican" plan are as follows:
- Tort reform, to relieve doctors from excessive punitive damages in malpractice cases
- Require that everyone have health insurance, so that insurance companies can base their premiums on the entire population and not just the population that needs and buys health insurance. This feature provides that the cost of caring for the sick is borne by everyone, not just other sick people.
- Require that insurers insure everyone and do not reject applicants for insurance because of pre-existing conditions.
The Republican plan does not include the option of "Medicare for all," or any other non-profit plan sponsored by government. Mr. Obama was careful not to include such features in the plan he proposed, although when his more liberal or progressive supporters asked, he said he wasn't opposed to such features.
Obama proposed that the nation enact the Republican plan (of a few years ago) for reforming the nation's health care system. If that isn't "reaching across the aisle to Republicans" I don't know what is. I have to believe that the Republicans really don't want any reform at all.
Labels: Universal health care