The other day, a former neighbor came by to visit. At one point she complained that, having just signed up for Medicare, she feared the Medicare changes in health care reform plans. Well, the reform does not threaten Medicare. Medicare changes are not the thrust of these reforms. Medicare's funding problems have to be addressed separate from current reform plans.
Putting aside drummed up fears like "death panels". what's not to like about health care reform? Certainly, there is the cost of insuring the uninsured, but most Americans are in favor of righting this wrong. (and we're paying a lot for their health care as it is). President Obama wants to eliminate pre-existing condition limitations, prevent denials when illness occurs, help preserve insurance when jobs are lost, and reduce costs for the benefit of businesses and individuals. It's all good stuff.
Then there is the public option. This is not government take over or socialism; it is a public insurance option, to operate like Medicare. It is not government-run, like the VA System (although the VA system is efficient and successful) Nor does it put a government bureaucrat between patient and doctor. I've had Medicare for almost 20 years and have yet to run into a bureaucrat, and have had no denials.
At the outset, the public insurance option is necessary because we will have to subsidize some of the currently uninsured; and so we want a lower cost alternative. Longer term this government insurance operation will help keep private insurers competitive and can better negotiate with providers to reduce the overall cost of health care.
Everyone agrees that our health care system is broken and presents an unsustainable burden on our society. Now is the time for President Obama and the Democrats to bring the change voted for last November.