With a New Congress and the campaigns for the Whitehouse in ’08 in full swing, both progressives and conservatives agree that healthcare reform especially as it regards affordable medical insurance is at the forefront of the minds of most Americans. And while legislatures and pundits on both sides of the aisle agree that the time is now for healthcare reforms, at what pace such changes occur is still an issue of wide debate. Healthcare reform has been an issue that has been approached much like the taste of saliva in ones mouth, when taken in little tiny doses overtime like it usually is, it doesn’t bother us much at all, in fact we hardly notice it is there – but no one would like to sit down and drink a whole glassful. And many agree that hard-hitting and sweeping changes to our current health insurance polices and health delivery system will be equally hard to swallow, by consumers as well as the healthcare and insurance industries.
Incremental steps seem to be the best approach for all concerned, such as the current push on both the federal and state levels to get cost effective health insurance for all children. Good first steps all agree. But the real first step to true healthcare and health insurance reform is to get a handle on just what exactly needs fixing. Certainly the 47 million Americans without insurance is a good part of the problem, but it is not the only problem. Sweeping healthcare reform that could at the wave of a magic wand suddenly insure every man, woman and child in the nation – would do nothing to solve problems of disparity in the healthcare system, or to curtail costs, or solve other access and delivery issues.
For any of the current proposed strategies by think tanks, health insurance industry professionals, and political figures to work, compromise is the watchword. And for what is perhaps the first time in decades there seems to be a concerted effort and willingness on the parts of the federal government, the states, big business, and the insurance companies to work together to solve some of these issues. True health reform makes for some storage bedfellows. In theory of course who would oppose universal health coverage? No one objects to a healthcare for all model, the problem as always comes down to who is going to pay for it. The conservatives believe that tax breaks and incentives to business hold the key, but as always progressive opponents say such ideas only benefit the “healthy and the wealthy”. Progressives embrace the idea of a Medicare for all model, to which conservative opponents still yell “Limited Choice” and “Socialized Medicine”. But if a true attempt to find some middle ground is approached, as current waves seem to be approaching, perhaps there is hope for a viable solution that could bring real healthcare reform and truly affordable health benefits to all Americans within the next 10 years as so many claim to be striving for.