Suzy Khimm at The Treatment comments on a New York Times article by Cara Buckley, and the New Republic reporter makes an important, often overlooked point that I have been passionate about: we should not blame the young for being uninsured. It’s not because they are young, but because they are typically low-income and not eligible for employer coverage. The article plays off a Community Catalyst report about expanding dependent coverage. Speaker Nunez had a bill on the subject several years backed, but it was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger.
There was another New York Times article by Robert Pear about some stakeholder convenings held by Senator Kennedy’s office. I’ll refrain from commenting on the policy substance in this post, but on the process: We at Health Access were part of a similar process in California reform, and given the similar breadth of organizations included, I think the article might overstate the level of agreement in those discussions. There are tough decisions to make, and those types of discussions, even private ones, are typically not the place where people show their cards.
Finally, getting stakeholder groups–even a critical mass of them–is only one, and perhaps not even the most important, hurdle. The need to finance any proposal and the political process, between the President, House, and Senate, will have its own demands of any health reform. As will the public at large. It’s one thing to have some candid conversations in private, but there’s some things that look good in private may look different in public.