The healthcare debate began with, "How do we rationally, logically and economically guaranty the minimum necessary level of medical care to everyone?" The way we are doing it now - - the poor and insured wait until they get really, really sick, and then go to the emergency room for really, really expensive treament at the expense of taxpayers and/or the insured - - makes no sense from either a medical or an economic perspective.
But, over time, the healthcare debate has morphed from a discussion of healthcare delivery into a discussion of health insurance reform.
And, the participants debating and deciding the issue behind closed doors seem to have forgotten the original problem and the original goal.
"The high cost of health insurance premiums would continue to put coverage out of reach for millions even if Congress approves legislation President Obama says is intended to ensure "that every American has affordable health care." The number of people who remain uninsured will depend on how House and Senate leaders reconcile separate versions of health care legislation to arrive at a final bill. The factors include the size of government subsidies to help low-income families pay for insurance and the scope of penalties that would be charged for those who don't buy a plan. . . . The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates 17 million Americans would remain uninsured under the Senate Finance Committee's 10-year, $829 billion health care bill. Health experts such as Rowland say that number would include families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to pay for insurance. Others who could remain uninsured under the Finance Committee bill include people who choose to pay a proposed $750-a-year fine rather than buy coverage and those who are eligible for Medicaid but don't enroll."
In other words, after all is said and done, there will still be 20+ million uninsured (plus illegal aliens) waiting until they get really, really sick, and then going to the emergency room for really, really expensive treament at the expense of taxpayers and/or the insured, which makes no sense from either a medical or an economic perspective.
What we're doing is simply cutting the problem (the number of uninsured) in half.