Saturday, September 5, 2009

Health Care Reform and "Triggers": No, And Why

As many of you know, the issue of triggers--a mechanism for compelling the institution of a public plan for health care after we give insurance company giants one more chance to be good--are being talked about again.

This is a short and well done piece from Firedog Lake explaining what triggers are, and why they are bad, with extensive linking. As you may or may not be aware, Olympia Snowe (R-ME) has proposed the idea in the ongoing mess that is the US Senate Gang of Six (3 dems, 3 republicans) from the Finance Committee working on the remaining congressional bill.

This is important to know in light of Obama's upcoming Wednesday talk on health care. Knowing the basics will help you to discern what is going on and why.

The stakes are very, very high. If we cannot provide a good, medicare-like public option that is affordable (some suggest no more than 2.5% of income), we will not have this chance again for decades. The poor, the uninsured will remain so and out of range for health care.

For those with insurance, the costs are rising an average 4.4 times faster than pay. That is obviously unsustainable for everyone but the very rich.

We are facing the multi-headed hydra on health care and unless we knock down every additional compromise as they spit and hiss at us, we won't win. And we have to win.