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August 18th, 2009
08:30 AM ET

Frightening future if reform fails

Uwe Reinhardt
Special to CNN

Watching the angry outbursts at town hall meetings on health reform and the continuing public ambivalence about current efforts to reform our health system almost makes me wish that the reform effort fails.

Perhaps Americans need to be taught a basic lesson on the economics of employment-based health insurance before they will feel as smugly secure with it as they do now and before they will stop nitpicking health-reform efforts to death over this or that detail.

And America's currently insured middle class will be increasingly desperate if health reform fails. Millions more such families will see their take-home pay shrink. Millions will lose their employment-based insurance, especially in medium and small-sized firms. And millions will find themselves inexorably priced out of health care as we know it.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Health Care • Raw Politics
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. KIm

    Provide affordable,quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending ! 1.2.3.....divided into Divisions and Sub Titles ! A. Affordable Health Care choices,Title I protections and standards for qualified Health Care Benefits Plans,Subtitle B ,Standards guaranteeing access to affordable coverage. Where is the flow chart ? "Land of 1000 dances" for a 1000 pages of HR 3200,dance into Universial Health Care ! 14 thousand a day are losing health insurance !

    August 19, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  2. Ralph Sato

    We must save Obamacare even if Obama himself seems to be losing the desire he orginally had for the crown jewel of his presidency. Americans are too complacent about their current fragile and fragmented health care system. Insurance companies are in it for the profits and will cherry pick their customers in the interests of windfall profits and super executive payouts. Obama is right to warn us of greater crisis in the future if nothing is done now. But he must not waver on the public option as he seems to be prepared to abandon the public option. He needs more backbone. A few senators like Max Baucus and Kent Conrad who are indebted to the health insurance companies for their campaign contributions are major obstacles to the public option. They must be persuaded to get out of the way for the sake of the majority of Americans who are sick and tired of being sick, tired and abandoned by the fat cats of the insurance giants.

    August 19, 2009 at 4:41 am |
  3. RLWellman

    If people would read the bills before they sign them, we wouldn't be where we are at now. People are mad because they are not given the representation they are paying for by their taxes.

    We need reform without the Government running the program. The majority of the country would go along if it weren't for the Government trying to obtain more control.

    We started with help for house mortages, then to cars, now to health care. What's next, vision and dental care? How about if we all stop working and just let the Government take care of all our needs? Maybe Communist China will pay for that too?

    August 18, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  4. Melissa

    If people would stop fear mongering, this would go much easier and faster.

    August 18, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  5. Dana

    Yes if only common sense would prevail and the American public would stop allowing extremist from both sides to cloud their judgement. It also shows the resolve of this administration to tackle issues that are not popular and have no easy fix as opposed to avoiding them as in administrations past. Obama has started the debate as needed, it is up to our representitives to fill in the blanks. Hopefully they will listen to the people.

    August 18, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  6. Brieanna

    I am so glad that someone has finally said exactly what I have been thinking. It is so sad that as people not just Americans we can not see that some people desperately need some form of health insurance. The amount of selfish thinking that plagues this country. Everyone that is against healthcare reform should sign a waiver so when they are in dying need of help we can throw them in the gutter.

    August 18, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  7. Brieanna

    I am so glad that someone has finally said exactly what I have been thinking. It is so sad that as people not just Americans we can not see that some people desperately need some form of health insurance. The amount of selfish thinking that plagues this country. Everyone that is against healthcare reform should sign a waiver so when they are in dying need of help we can throw them in the gutter and let them wait for their private insurance to come to their aid.

    August 18, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  8. GF, Los Angeles

    There is an obvious need for affordable healthcare. Los Angeles had offered free medical and dental work done at the Forum by doctors and dentists who offered their free services for 8 days and they had over 2,000 people show up the first day. Hundreds were turned away. It's easy to say I don't want government run care when I have insurance but for those who don't, they will line up into the thousands. What's to say any of us won't be one of those thousands as healthcare skyrockets and more companies don't offer health insurance.

    August 18, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  9. dennis waite

    in re- co-op insurance:

    deleterious and un-wanted health care plans like this persons ….will lead to huge profits for the insurance industry and nver achieve what the people want which is lower cost and better health care coverage:this wil be a plan of mass confusion because their are no details only a plan put out and supported by the drug and insurance industry :
    public health care plan will be very close or identical to medicare and medicade just better and the details are in favour of Americans not forgin interest -why do think their is so much debate??? when the health care cost kept rising no republican said anything , but when OBAMA-said public health care plan they went into combat -mode to defend the health care industry billionairs …their actions are deleterious and un-healthy for America ……

    [Reply]

    August 18, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  10. Michael C. McHugh

    I'll make a prediction. If reform fails now, in a very short time there are going to be about 80 million retired Baby Boomers on Social Security and Medicare who are going to collapse the whole system. If they do not deal with this problem right now, it is going to be too late. The Republicans never will, so it's up to the Democrats. This is no time to wimp out and go all DINO and DLC, trying to pretend to be Republicans. No one believes it anyway, and it only upsets their own base.

    Why don't they consider Tobin Taxes to finance these entitlement trust funds?

    August 18, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  11. Cynthia Tidwell

    The sideshow hype of so-called town hall meetings is appalling. The real show is hidden from viewers, and I wonder why CNN is not covering any of it. That is the subrosa efforts of members of the Jesus-cult known as "the Family", i.e. the C Street frat house and all other linked organizations. Read Shallet's book and if you haven't thrown up every 5 pages, you're not paying attention. This is bigger than Watergate, and so much more damaging. Our government has been hi-jacked by "fundamentalist elites" and we're just sucking our thumbs and wondering why Congress doesn't accomplish what the majority of Americans have said is wanted and desparatly needed in health care reform.

    August 18, 2009 at 11:31 am |