The Wall Street Journal editorializes rabidly that the about-to-be adopted health reform will cost multitrillions of dollars, that health insurers will become regulated public utilities, that Big Pharma, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, the Business Roundtable and even Wal-Mart “have made themselves more vulnerable to the gilded clutches of the political class…all leading to higher taxes, slower economic growth and worse medical care.”
The New York Times calls the reform a triumph for countless Americans who have been victimized or neglected by their dysfunctional health care system…providing coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans, prevent the worst insurance company abuses, and begin to wrestle with relentlessly rising costs — while slightly reducing future deficits.
The Boston Globe says that the reform has split Massachusetts along party lines.
According to the Globe:
Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles D. Baker Jr., a former health insurance CEO, believes the package will “increase the deficit and result in higher taxes or cuts in federal aid for teaching hospitals, medical device companies, and other health care firms that make up one-third of the Massachusetts economy.”
Independent candidate State Treasurer Tim Cahill says the legislation will “wipe out the American economy within four years.’’
Gov. Deval Patrick calls the legislation “good for America and good for Massachusetts.’’
Jim Klocke, executive vice president of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, said the change will have little effect on businesses here and, like hospital leaders, called it “a step forward’’ for the country.
Union leaders and progressives are frustrated that a government-run health insurance option fell through.
I do believe that taxes will go up; that government involvement will create confusion and extra layers of bungling bureaucracy; and that, because I’ll be on Medicare by the time it’s fully enacted, it won’t benefit me personally, at all.
But every developed nation but one believes its citizens deserve to stay alive and well.
Healthier people are more energetic and productive; nipping disease before it reaches costly later stages will save money in the long run; perhaps some oversight will focus more attention on streamlining hospital practices or unnecessary care.
While the legislation needs tweaking and will be subject to change, I firmly support it. It’s the right thing to do.