It’s been a tumultuous few weeks in the world of health care reform. The House and Senate have been working to hammer out bills that increase health insurance coverage while lowering health care costs, and we’ve become stuck on the question of how to pay for all this reform.
On the table are a variety of funding proposals — the millionaire tax, the tax on couples earning more than $350,000 per year, an employer tax on those already providing health insurance for workers. None are terribly popular. Then there are those who believe cost savings can be found by “decreasing inefficiencies” and “reducing waste.” The White House in particular wants to see large-scale effectiveness studies, so we’re only paying for treatments that actually work — worthwhile in concept, but many years from becoming a reality.
So we’re now hearing the inevitable comparisons between the legislative process and sausage-making, and pundits seem eager to declare the death of this massive undertaking.
Last night President Obama held a prime-time news conference to urge patience with health care reform efforts, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said will continue beyond the Congress’ August recess and into fall. Health care reform is so complex — yet so critical — that more time sounds like a good thing.