Archive for September 18, 2009

How Will We Know If Good Enough is Good Enough?

We now have four health care reform bills and a proposal from the Senate Finance Committeee, the last of the Congressional committees with jurisdiction over this topic.   None of the bills are perfect and the Senate Finance Committee’s proposal, lacking both a public option and any Republican support, is the most disappointing.  Still, as Paul Krugman writes in today’s New York Times, several countries, including Switzerland and the Netherlands, manage to provide health insurance for all largely through the private market

So, how will we know if we should support what emerges as the final health care reform bill?  Here are six key standards to determine whether the final bill is good enough to support – let us know if you have others:

  1. Will the bill make quality health care coverage available to all, especially to the uninsured, underinsured, and those who will fall into these categories in the future?
  2. Will the bill provide real competition in the market place, with or without, a true public plan, so that reform will be reasonably affordable? 
  3. Will the bill provide adequate help for people of low and moderate incomes to purchase good quality health coverage ?
  4. Will the bill preserve and fairly enhance the Medicare program for future generations?
  5. Will the new coverage be adequately comprenhensive, understandable and easy to use?
  6. Will the new law provide a fair, accessible appeal system for people to contest denials?

I am often told not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  We will not get “the perfect” health care plan.  We may not even get “the good”.  But – will we get “the good enough”?  Too soon to tell.

September 18, 2009 at 6:00 pm 1 comment


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