I am perplexed by the line among some in the blogosphere, where some, including Howard Dean, are arguing to stop the Senate health reform bill.
But it’s clear we still have an opportunity to make it better, as it goes to the House of Representatives–especially on issues like affordability, employer responsibility, and insurance regulation. We here in California have an important voice to tell the leadership and the rank-and-file to stand strong on the range of issues.
If there’s a moment to make a final assessment of a final product–to assess the positives and negatives and make a final decision–this isn’t it, not when we still have the opportunity and obligation to fix it.
Senator Jay Rockefeller, who has been a champion on health reform for decades, rebuffed Dean’s argument below. He also makes a point that once we pass the framework, there is opportunity for improvement in subsequent years as well. If health reform fails, then we are stuck with the old system and politicians will run from the issue for a generation. If we pass a framework, there will be opportunities and efforts to make changes every single year. As the health policy enthusiast he is, he exclaims, “I love that.”