The more the public learns what is in the House bill, the less they like it. That's why the administration wants to rush this through Congress. The public mostly understands the need to reform the increasingly expensive current system. It just doesn't like the administration's plan.
There are other proposals that would achieve the end of reform while preserving the high-quality treatment that is the envy of the world and simultaneously affirming deeply held American values. It is no mystery what needs to be done to reduce costs and improve health delivery services.
As Rick Scott, chairman of Conservatives for Patients' Rights, has noted, "Americans want lower health care costs, not a government-run system. And there are several reforms we can do immediately to lower costs that won't cost a dime, (such as) allowing insurers to compete across state lines, requiring doctors and hospitals to post their rates and results to allow consumers to shop around, and creating one standardized reimbursement form for all insurers." Allowing employees to choose among several insurance policies (a choice available to federal workers, including Congress) would let individuals tailor policies to their needs, instead of forcing them to accept a one-size-fits-all policy. That, too, would reduce costs.
A grassroots uprising defeated the Bush administration's ill-conceived attempts at "comprehensive immigration reform." The groundswell against nationalized health care may have a similar end. If the liberal Democratic congressional leadership forces a bill through anyway, Republicans may have the issue they have been looking for to help them take back at least the House of Representatives in the 2010 election and to stop this "risky scheme" and other "out of the mainstream" programs.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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