I laud the Republican effort in the House to repeal the new health care law, not because it will succeed directly, but because it will rekindle the debate about how we balance the needs of the uninsured, share the costs, and allocate the control of health care in the U.S.
Everybody knows the old system was a patchwork improvisation which developed over 50 years. We’ve adjusted to it over time, but it really isn’t serving us well with constantly escalating prices and 30 million uncovered. I do not pretend to know how to fix what ails the system, but I assume the new law is a mess of regulations which must be shaped by experience.
I see the health care debate now entering a new and hopefully more realistic phase of negotiation between insurance companies, big business interests, small business advocates, doctors, and patients mediated by government. Health coverage will gradually be worked out over several years with the 2012 election affecting the negotiations.
We will have theater in Congress, but the real action will be the haggling over the regulations and finding out how the insurance exchanges work in practice. The new law may be horrible or it may not be half bad. In 12 to 18 months, after hundreds of wrestling matches in private, we’ll have a better idea of what works.
Question: Are you hopeful about the outcome of the debate, or will Obamacare simply be a disaster?