Dems discussing immediate health care reform package that helps uninsured but not the rest of us

Some Democrats have thought of a novel way to put some health care reform on to the stimulus package:

The general idea — again, this is very preliminary — is that a stimulus package of $300 billion or more, which is being suggested in some quarters, would be very hard to spend. So around $150 billion of it could go to health care reform, perhaps in the form of a big tax credit to employers covering employees for the first time, among other things.

Another stimulus plan that only helps some people. Surprise. And, yes, the uninsured need to be helped desperately, and this is a good thing. But can Democrats ever do anything that actually benefits everyone else too?

I have worried for a while that Democrats are going to eventually cave on health care reform, in that they may push for more coverage for the uninsured – and again, that’s great – but they won’t push for any help for anyone else. The result? More people will be insured in a system that is woefully broken. A system in which catastrophic illness will kill you because the insurance companies won’t cover you. A system where you lose your health care coverage if you change states. A system where I lost my prescription drug coverage for two months this year because apparently I’m just too expensive.

Again, to be clear, helping the uninsured is necessary and good, and it’s a good starting point for health care reform if the ending point is instituting changes that help everybody. This plan does nothing to help the self-employed, nor to help those with insurance who still face all the problems I listed above. My concern is that Democrats will do this fix, and then little else. Time will tell.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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