Proposals For Health Care Reform Face Many Barriers

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Health Care Reform

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Supporters of health care reform, each time they offered new proposals,expected "popular clamor" to "drive elected officials to end thenational embarrassment of millions of uninsured and rein in healthexpenditures that were needlessly high and bought less than theyshould," but, each time, "reformers were right in their indictment andwrong in their political judgments," Henry Aaron, a senior fellow atthe Brookings Institution, writes in a Los Angeles Times opinionpiece.

He adds, "If there's any chance of success this time, we need tounderstand the barriers that prevented reform in the past," such asdivisions about the specifics of proposals, concerns about change amongU.S. residents with health insurance, concerns about the financialeffects on the industry and differences in health care among states.

Accordingto Aaron, "None of this means that sweeping transformation isimpossible," but, "even if it succeeds, health care reform will notcome from a single bill that transforms a $2.5-trillion industry butfrom repeated legislation of modest scope enacted over many years." Headds, "The next president can articulate a vision, but like Moses, heor she is unlikely to see the Promised Land" (Aaron, Los Angeles Times, 11/6).
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Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserDaily Health Policy Report, search the archives, andsign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published forkaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser FamilyFoundation.

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