[Harry] Reid was saying that healthcare is a human right and not something to be left up to the market ["Harry Reid is Wrong on History and Wrong on Health Reform,"usnews.com]. Conservatives in the Senate (regardless of party affiliation) have historically blocked socially progressive legislation, often using dire, apocalyptic warnings about what would happen to the country if it passed. Of course, eventually it did pass and today those once controversial pieces of legislation are viewed as mainstream entitlements that no Republican is interested in revoking. Healthcare will be the same drill, which is what Reid was getting at. Offering universal healthcare is not radical. It's been done for decades in other industrial countries, where health outcomes are better, costs are lower, and private and public insurance exist side by side. The parade of horribles trotted out by the author and other opponents of healthcare reform are just scare tactics meant to derail the bill. (I always wonder why opponents of reform are up in arms about government bureaucrats controlling healthcare but never mention the insurance company bureaucrats who do it now—and have a much stronger incentive to deny coverage.) Ten years from now everyone will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about.
Comment by Douglas McCollam of LA
Thanks for speaking out against the government takeover of our healthcare system. Your article lays out our objections to this takeover much better than most of us could. The senior citizens of all groups would suffer the most under this takeover. But in the end everyone would get hurt in some way in a government-run system.
Comment by Peggy of UT
Michelle Bernard, nice article. There are a number of problems with our current healthcare system, but they will only be worsened by both the current House and Senate bills. It is too bad that the politicians are taking such a heavy hand in this process, because if they are successful, they will destroy our country's healthcare system, not improve it, as well as increasing unemployment and running up the national debt.
Comment by Mike of CA
You offer the same diversionary arguments every other conservative does. There is no government takeover of healthcare proposed. What is proposed includes mandates, the health insurance exchange, and the elimination of exclusions on pre-existing conditions. That is what is being debated, but you'd never know it by your article or from any other political hit job from the right. The idea behind the legislation is that healthcare is a human right, and that achieving universal coverage is similar to other civil rights struggles: hence [Harry] Reid's strong comments. You can disagree with that, but it's hardly crazy.
Comment by John of WA
The recent proposed amendments to the healthcare bills, whether regarding breast tests or abortion, should give everyone pause in allowing government such a strong hand in healthcare decision-making. The reaction to the breast test study by independent scientists (I will assume that is correct) is a great example. Remember, this is a scientific study—if you have issues with it, challenge the data, methodology, etc. But just to say that a scientific outcome does not jive with one's own health decisions or political beliefs is silly...I agree with Ms. Bernard that it is dangerous to let the government control health decisions. But it is even more dangerous to let government control health decisions without the benefit of science. Each patient and doctor must weigh the recent study and the patient's own status and make decisions.
Comment by Henry of CA