The Surprising Source of Health Reform

The Conservative Case for Obamacare (J.D. Kleinke New York Times, September 29, 2012) traces the origins of health reform to  — wait for it! — Republican roots.

Yes, the idea of requiring people to buy health insurance came from a conservative policy think tank.  Health insurance exchanges were proposed by conservatives for years.  You can read Kleinke’s piece yourself to get more of the history.

Kleinke’s theory is that Republicans hate these ideas now, because the credit is going to Obama.  It is called “Obamacare” after all, not “We’re-all-in-this-together-care.”  I agree with Kleinke on this point.

It seems that people choose and passionately stick to a side, when it comes to health reform.  I’m more philosophical about it than passionate.  Changing the rules for who can or must buy health insurance changes how insurers will operate, which changes how rates are set, which changes . . .   You get the idea.  To me, it’s like a Rube Goldberg machine – the ball rolls down the tube, setting off the lever, tripping the dominoes to fall, and so forth.

Everyone, including me, is on the edge wondering what will happen to health reform after the Presidential election.  I don’t see repeal as a likely outcome, but the details could be significantly changed.  In other words, the shape of the ball, the size of the tube, the force of the lever – any or all of those things could change, leaving the machine still basically functioning.

In the meantime, I take the passionate protests against health reform for what they are worth.  No matter how we feel about health reform, it is already set in motion.

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One Response to The Surprising Source of Health Reform

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