Tennessean Editorial - Health stakes never higher
The push for health-care reform has taken on the feel of a shouting match as legislation moved toward a historic vote in the House today…
Quietly, in the background of this spectacle, nearly 50 million Americans who have no health insurance are watching and waiting…
The bill before Congress has gotten more attention in recent weeks for how it will or will not save money for insured Americans and for the federal government. Reducing the cost is important, but not as important as the preservation of lives. Plainly put: Without reform, more Americans will die of preventable health issues in the years ahead…
As the shouting reaches a crescendo today, take a little time to put yourself in their place. It might bring the cost of doing nothing home to you. [3/21/10]
Clarion-Ledger Editorial (Mississippi) - Essential issue in health care clear
…There is nothing simple about health care reform. It is complex and it requires work to research, understand and form an opinion. But there are some basics:
No. 1: The system we have is not sustainable.
There is no way to control the spiraling health care costs. If Congress does nothing, the federal government spending on health care will reach $13 trillion in the next decade. Americans spend twice as much on health care as other industrialized nations. The system we have simply is not working. Yes, the reform proposal will cost more than $900 million, but is designed to actually reduce the federal deficit.
No. 2: The system we have is not serving a major portion of the American populace.
It is estimated that more than 42 million people do not have health care coverage. Some can't afford it. Some can't get it and some just won't get it, which just increases the costs for all of us. The proposal on the table would cover more than 32 million. That is a vast improvement.
No. 3: Insurance company practices, such as not covering pre-existing conditions, need reigning in to increase access and fairness…
Through all the complex arguments, there is still one simple, one: morality.
Everyone should have access to health care…
It's that simple. [3/21/10]
Salisbury Post Editorial (North Carolina) - Reform imperfect, but it's progress
…The House should approve this bill
Lest you think passage would bring the end of the world as we know it, reputable organizations have voiced support. The American Medical Association and AARP endorsed the bill Friday…
…Despite claims of a government takeover, the majority of Americans would continue to get health coverage through private insurance…The plan creates health care exchanges to provide coverage for those who have trouble getting it now, such as the self-employed. Medicaid would expand to cover some 15-18 million more people…
Too many Americans are a pink slip away from losing health insurance. Too many have received that pink slip and are now floundering. We have watched this sausage being made for a year. It is not perfect. But it is progress. [3/21/10]
Sacramento Bee Editorial (California) - Day of reckoning for health reform
As the vote nears on health care legislation, members of Congress need to ponder how history will view them…
Benefits clearly outweigh the alternative of leaving the system as it is. Americans are being denied coverage. Their premiums are spiraling up and out of reach. One in four Californians are going without health coverage, including 1.5 million children. Doctors and hospitals are being shorted on payments for services they provide…
Republicans will vote like a herd to oppose the legislation, as most did in 1965 when Congress approved Medicare. History proved them wrong then, and it will again with the upcoming votes.
Democrats need to look beyond the fear-mongering and pandering. This has been a 16-month-long debate.
But really it began six decades ago when Truman was president. The time to act is now. [3/20/10]
Bemidji Pioneer Editorial (Minnesota) - Procedure unorthodox but needed
…Congress has been at work for more than a year in crafting a health care reform bill, almost accomplished it late last year by sending a bill to conference committee. But the Senate losing its filibuster-proof 60-vote margin with the election of a Republican in Massachusetts put those plans on hold.
Today, the U.S. House is poised to act on a health care reform measure put forth by President Barack Obama that features the best of both bills and some Republican concerns. Still, Republicans plan to do their best to block the legislation…
The measure will extend health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans who don't now have it, forbid insurers to deny coverage of pre-existing conditions, and would cut the federal deficit by $136 billion over the decade. In the most controversial part, the bill, which costs $940 billon over 10 years, would require most Americans to purchase health insurance or face penalties.
It is important to move this legislation, which can always be improved later, along and get us off dead center. [3/21/10]
Republican Editorial (Massachusetts) - Health-care reform a bitter pill to swallow, but it will work in long run
The nation simply cannot wait much longer for health reform. Without it - and we don't say this lightly - we face the prospect of becoming a third world country where more and more people cannot afford medical care and no gated community can shut out the misery that will result.
The legislation before Congress will ultimately insure more than 30 million Americans who lack health insurance. It will stop health insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and it will provide low and middle income people with tax credits to buy medical coverage through insurance exchanges.
Today, it's do or die time. Congress needs to approve health reform, even if some politicians lose their job. We know that will take courage, but as Rep. John Boccieri, D-Ohio, said, “I'm not worried about the election. I'm worried about what's right.”
Americans cannot wait another 16 years for health reform to become a reality. Rising costs will consume our income, kill our economy and fill the nation with sick people who will have to depend on charity or live - and perhaps die - with their ailments… [3/21/10]
La Opinión Editorial - Vote for health (En Español)
…the tone of the Republican criticism reflects the polarization of the debate. The minority's argument of starting from scratch and creating a new bipartisan law is an obstructionist ploy to prevent the Obama administration from winning a victory.
…they have orchestrated campaigns of fear to scare the majority of Americans who have insurance--without reminding them of the current dangers of losing it. They use figures exaggerated by special interests and hypocritically accuse the legislative majority of parliamentary maneuvers which, in reality, have been used by Democrats and Republicans alike.
The current health system is more oriented toward safeguarding the earnings of industry investors than caring for the health of patients and the insured. That is the main reason why costs are spiraling out of control as care becomes more restrictive.
The healthcare reform bill as it is has problems, but the current situation is unsustainable. The bill needs to be passed tomorrow or the situation will grow worse. We must understand that it is better to help millions of Americans than to seek a political victory by defeating reform. [3/20/10]