Proponents and opponents of health reform point to the vast amounts of human suffering that will ensue should something not pass — or pass. I have no doubt that both sides are correct, but I would point everyone to Pages 28-31 in the recent San Francisco decision, where the judges wrote eloquently about the “balance” of hardships imposed various sectors under the Healthy San Francisco Program — or lack thereof.
I’m going to summarize their words more bluntly, but you can read the more graceful version by clicking on either of the links posted above.
If Health San Francisco did NOT go forward:
- Patients who just started treating their diseases would stop going to the doctor, stop taking drugs, and risk death or serious illness.
- The city would incur costs — as it does now — because sick (and now, uninsured) patients would cram into the city clinics and public hospitals and the city would not have enough dollars from employers — or other sources — to help offset the costs for caring for the uninsured.
- For the “public interest”… well…. wouldn’t you want to know the person who is handling your food is healthy?
If Healthy San Francisco DOES go forward:
- It would be a big administrative pain in the rear for businesses, and it’d cost them money because they’d actually have to provide health care for their workers.
This “Balance of Hardships” perfectly frames our remaining year(s) of health reform. Given those pros and cons, wouldn’t you want health reform?