Thursday, February 5, 2009

This is how you reform health care

Yesterday’s reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program is an example of how you reform health care.

Incrementally . . . “extending health coverage to 4 million uninsured children”.

In easy to digest amounts . . . “an additional $32.8 billion”.

With transparent, credible and easy to understand payment plans . . . “generated that revenue by raising the federal tobacco tax.”

Starting with items no one can object to . . . “kids' health insurance”.

With true bipartisan support . . . “passage . . . on a vote of 290-135 . . . Forty Republicans joined in approval.”

You start with “the first step”, and then you build on it.

If they’re smart, they’ll next do prenatal ob/gyn coverage and postnatal infant well care. (You should be able to get 40 to 50 Republican “right to life” votes for that proposal based upon statistics showing how often the high cost of delivery contributes to the decision to abort.)

Of course, you can fight a noble battle for a trillion dollar “broad health care agenda” omnibus overhaul of the entire health care system.

And, you can risk going down to noble defeat, leaving health care untouched for yet another decade or more.

Obviously, those noble battles get your face on heirloom quality collectible mugs and plates and fleece blankets.

But, if you want to make things better than you found them, little by little, building upon past successes until you get to where you want to be, you go slowly. So far, isn’t that the lesson of the stimulus bill?

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