September 23, 2009

A Costly Delay

All apparent evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, is Senator Max Baucus really the best friend of single-payer health care in Congress? Yes, his bill does nothing to rein in obscene insurance company profits. Adds to them, in fact, largely at the expense of the working poor and middle class.

However, via Neuron Culture, we find this segment from Countdown talking about how blatantly in the favor of the insurance companies the bill is.

It isn't as though no one is paying attention to the reform process at this point, nor as though no one has been anticipating the bill would suck. During the drafting stage, there was a proposal going around to require Baucus to use his own plan, as a check against him doing exactly what he wants to do--make the federal government a collection agency for the insurance companies.

The question is, now that it's happened, what will the backlash be? At least one conservative pundit thinks delay in passing health care reform will lead to universal health care in another decade. I agree that delay isn't good for the industry's goals, but I'm not sure it would take a decade.

The longer we don't have a reform bill passed, the more cases of denial of coverage and rescission come forward. The more true grassroots groups raise money to get their messages across. The more the strings making the blue dogs dance are exposed, and the louder the progressives become. The more the strength of our need for change creeps into the public consciousness, and the more people attack the problem with whatever skills they have.

I don't know how long it would take for the demand for single-payer health care to reach these levels, but the conservatives have waited to long to pass something for all of us to compromise any more. The time for the public option is already here.

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