All Americans should be required to have insurance. For those who can't afford the premiums, we can provide subsidies. We'll make it illegal to deny coverage due to preexisting conditions. We'll also prohibit the practice of charging women higher premiums than men, and the elderly far higher premiums than anyone else. The bill drafted by the Senate health committee will let children be covered by their parents' policy until the age of 26, since first jobs after high school or college often don't offer health benefits.
Then the cost factor as David Broder points out, the current proposal despite Kennedy's claims does not appear to save money:
CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf told the Democrats that they were about to bust the budget. None of the bills he had seen contain "the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount."
"And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs," he said.
Elmendorf is not alone in arguing that the legislators ought to go back to the drawing board. A day earlier, Mike Leavitt, the last secretary of health and human services in the George W. Bush administration, told me and other reporters that the House bill "does nothing to solve the problem of the escalating cost of health care."
In a separate phone interview, Ken Thorpe, an academic expert who worked on the Clintons' effort 16 years ago, said, "There is nothing in the current legislation that will reduce private insurance premiums" -- and not nearly enough to contain the rising costs of Medicare.
Which creates editorials like this one from Miami that the current plan will hurt small businesses.
I agree with Kennedy that we have taken way too long to address the problems of American citizens not having access to or being able to afford health insurance, but I fear in the rush to make it look as if they are finally dealing with this issue? They are making mistakes...