Monday, March 22, 2010

Health reform


Ever since he began his unlikely run for President, people have been asking about Barack Obama, "But what has he done?" His thin resume was spotlighted by Hillary Clinton and John McCain during the campaign, and the Nobel Prize he won soon after taking office led to derisive comments about image winning over substance.
Well, nobody can ask that question after today. Obama has spearheaded a change deeper than anything crafted under the two Bushes and Clinton. He is already the transformational President people thought he had the potential to become.
A number of Americans have been angered by the thrust of the reform, and turned off by the process. In the long run, though, I believe the Democrats will benefit greatly from this vote. What Americans hate, above almost everything else, is losers. Once a legislative victory is achieved, it can be sold to the public from a position of strength. Democrats have rarely had the luxury of doing that in the past forty years. I hope they learn the trick before the November elections.

6 comments:

DS said...

And WHAT a bill to have pushed thro! A victory indeed.

seana said...

As an American, and as someone who has actually been following this fairly closely, I have to say that I'm still not sure what exactly has been passed. I'm still not entirely sure it has saved us from the predatory tendencies of the insurance companies, for instance, though there's the hope that they will be checked in some way. I am looking forward to hearing more analysis of it now that there will be a final document to analyze.

But yes, it is an extraordinary political achievement for Obama that anything has been wrestled through Congress at all.

DS said...

On a user level a college colleague of my husband and now a practising gastroenterologist in the States says when he first started practice 20 years ago he would charge $600 for a colonoscopy and now in 2010 charges $150....and the insurance companies have said that's the fee or else the patient will go elsewhere. So the premiums will come down , won't they?

Girish Shahane said...

I don't know if they will come down; it seems they will go up at a lower rate than they would have done without this reform. But that's always a tough sell. Like, while jobs were being lost last year, the Obama administration maintained that even more jobs would've been lost had the stimulus plan not been passed. The public didn't buy it, though it was almost certainly true.

bhaskar said...

Obama care has states and citizens lining up--but not quite in the way President and Congress had hoped. Across the board,law suites are being filed which could have sweeping implications, not just for health care but our constitutional system.

To date 14 states have joined the stampede to the courthouse to challenge the legislation.

There is a legitimate concern for many that this mandate(buy health insurance or face fines)constitutes the greatest(and perhaps the most lethal) challenge to states' right in U.S. history.

Should this mandate survive court,states' rights will have withered before our eyes.

Some victory but Federalism on life support!

Bhaskar Joshi(ies 84)

Girish Shahane said...

Hi Bhaskar,
Great to have you contributing to the discussions on my blog. Personally, I don't believe those cases will old up because of the history of Medicare and Medicaid, which were also challenged on similar grounds.
Girish