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Posted by on Jul 15, 2009 in Health, Politics | 6 comments

Positive Reaction to the House Democrats’ Health-Care Plan

House Democrats released their long-awaited health-care reform bill yesterday, and the plan it proposes includes a government-run component (a so-called “public option”). No, it’s not exactly the single-payer, universal system that many of us prefer (and that we have here in Canada), but it’s comprehensive and ground-breaking, and likely would ensure coverage for the vast majority of Americans — in fact, almost all of them.

The right, of course, is already objecting both to the public option, which it deems to be socialism, and to the fact that taxes would be raised on the wealthy to pay for the plan, but Paul Krugman considers it a “bargain“:

OK, so the CBO score for the 3-committee House health care plan is in: $1 trillion over the next decade for 97 percent coverage of legal residents.

That’s a bargain: the catastrophe of being ill without insurance, the fear of losing insurance, all ended — for much less than the Bush administration’s useless $1.35 trillion first tax cut, quickly followed by another $350 billion.

And that’s just the budget cost, which the House proposes covering partly with savings elsewhere, partly with higher taxes on very high incomes. As Jon Cohn points out, the overall effect of expanded coverage will probably be lower health care costs for America as a whole.

There is now absolutely no excuse for Congress to balk at doing the right thing.

No excuse whatsoever.

In addition to Krugman, both Cohn and Ezra Klein, two leading health-care commentators, think it looks good. Cohn’s reaction is “strongly positive.” (Make sure to check out their posts for more on the details of the plan.)

There is still the Senate, of course — where there is less unity among leading Democrats — and still much to be done. (And, of course, there is Obama, who, while committed to wholesale reform, has been less than specific when it comes to the details of his desired outcome.) Still, this is an exceptionally positive development, and an encouraging step towards the creation of a fair and equitable health-care system for all Americans.

(Cross-posted from The Reaction.)

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