Health Care: The Wrong Debate
January 10, 2011
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The latest focus in the health care reform debate is over the Congressional Budget Office estimates of the long-term savings and costs of the Democratic-passed legislation. But these are arguments at the periphery of the core issue. The CBO figures are, at best, best guesses. The unequivocal facts are that America has a huge number of citizens who cannot afford adequate health care, that cohort is growing and health care costs are increasing. Nothing will change those truths.
Our political leaders need to face the facts and start figuring out how to address those long-term issues by 1) cutting costs elsewhere in the federal budget, and 2) raising additional revenues. Let’s start with the biggest fish in the pond: the Department of Defense and the TSA. Fewer worthless gadgets to pass through at airports and a few less aircraft carriers is a good tradeoff in my mind. And a fair tax rate on the super rich would help too.
The problem, of course, is that Republicans just don’t feel they have any responsibility to help others (unless they happen to be campaign contributors). They think it’s more important to spend billions to blow up Taliban peasants in rural Afghanistan than to help a 90-year-old lady in Des Moines get the medical care she needs.