POLITICAL observations & opinions

* healthcare reform passes … our better angels defeat callous cynicism

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 22, 2010

Paul Krugman writes in the NYT (3/22/10) …

  • The day before Sunday’s health care vote, President Obama gave an unscripted talk to House Democrats. Near the end, he spoke about why his party should pass reform:

“Every once in a while a moment comes where you have a chance to vindicate all those best hopes that you had about yourself, about this country, where you have a chance to make good on those promises that you made … And this is the time to make true on that promise. We are not bound to win, but we are bound to be true. We are not bound to succeed, but we are bound to let whatever light we have shine.”

  • on one side, the closing argument was an appeal to our better angels, urging politicians to do what is right, even if it hurts their careers; on the other side, callous cynicism.
  • For the most part, opponents of reform didn’t even pretend to engage with the reality either of the existing health care system or of the moderate, centrist plan — very close in outline to the reform Mitt Romney introduced in Massachusetts — that Democrats were proposing.
  • Instead, the emotional core of opposition to reform was blatant fear-mongering, unconstrained either by the facts or by any sense of decency.
  • the campaign of fear hasn’t been carried out by a radical fringe, unconnected to the Republican establishment. On the contrary, that establishment has been involved and approving all the way.
  • This is, of course, a political victory for President Obama, and a triumph for Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker. But it is also a victory for America’s soul. In the end, a vicious, unprincipled fear offensive failed to block reform. This time, fear struck out.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/22/opinion/22krugman.html?ref=opinion

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One Response to “* healthcare reform passes … our better angels defeat callous cynicism”

  1. Jon said

    One of the consultants advising our company provided the following summary of the health care legislation’s potential impact on businesses.

    How Health Care Reform Will Affect Your Business

    Although the reform package has yet to be finalized, major changes are looming. Some of the package’s provisions that will affect employers include:

    · Employer Mandates. Effective in 2014, most employers with 50 or more employees must offer coverage to employees. Employers who do not do so may be subject to hefty penalties. The benefit plans offered will also have to meet certain requirements.

    · Individual Mandates. Citizens and legal residents will be required to have a certain level of health coverage, or pay a tax penalty. These rules could restrict the usage of high deductible health plans and will decrease the chance that your employees will decline coverage under your plan.

    · Coverage Subsidies. Small employers that provide health insurance for employees will be eligible for a tax credit. Also, employers who provide insurance to retirees over age 55 who are not eligible for Medicare are eligible for a temporary reinsurance program.

    · Health Benefit Exchanges. In 2014, state exchanges will be established for small businesses and individuals to shop for health insurance. Larger businesses will be able purchase coverage in the exchanges in the future.

    · Insurance Reforms. These reforms require policies to provide dependent coverage for children through age 26. They prohibit lifetime coverage limits, rescission of coverage except in cases of fraud, and imposing pre-existing condition exclusions on children. Many of these provisions will take effect in 2010. They may affect your benefits and how you administer your benefit programs.

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