Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Compromise Worth It?

Christmas is almost here and the Senate may spend the holiday camped out in the halls of Congress trying to negotiate a(way) a health reform compromise bill. Although I appreciate my esteemed colleague’s December 18 post on the appropriateness of compromise in health reform, I feel that too much compromise is tantamount to “blackmail” or paying ransom—what of value to them are the “blackmailers,” or pirates, giving up in return and why reward them so they will do it again and again?

Satirist Andy Borowitz in his December 16 issue of the Borowitz Report tongue in cheek, and aptly, called the latest version of the Senate’s health reform bill CompromiseCare™ under which people with no coverage will be allowed to keep their current plan and uninsured 55 year olds will be able to enroll in Medicare as soon as they turn 65.

As Maggie Mahar observed in her December 15 Health Beat blog, ”the original goal of health care reform was “to provide high quality, affordable care for all Americans,.” but now “the goal has shrunk; the current Senate compromise aims only to make certain that 30 million uninsured Americans have insurance--which may or may not provide access to the care they need.” But she’s not giving up hope, she said: “Reformers have lost the game, not the match. This is just the first piece of health care legislation that you will see over the next three (or four) years.”

While the Senate bill as it currently stands may offer some benefits to many people, at a huge cost, the content of the final “compromise,” further whittled and compromised, may be less beneficial. Wait and see.


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