After the Reform: Aiming High for Health Justice

By Flowers, Margaret | Tikkun, May/June 2010 | Go to article overview

After the Reform: Aiming High for Health Justice


Flowers, Margaret, Tikkun


AS WE SIT HERE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RECENT health reform process, we have an opportunity for reflection. There were many times during the past year and a half when passage of ahealthbill seemed unlikely. However, in the end, the White House and Democratic leadership joined forces and converted the last holdouts with scare tactics of electoral turnovers and even a trip on Air Force One in order to muscle a bill over the final hurdles. The mere fact that any bill was passed at all was hailed as the great accomplishment, because no honest proponent of health reform could call the final product a solution to our nation's serious health care crisis.

This entire health reform process occurred under the shadow of the previous attempt to pass significant health legislation. President Obama made this his signature issue, and so for his administration failure was not an option. He surrounded himself with many of those who were traumatized by their participation in the last go-round. Thus, the resulting strategy was based more on fear of the opposition than on sound health policy. An opportunity for an honest debate about the needs of our people was squandered for backroom deals with industry giants and the photo ops so reminiscent of the previous administration. And for the most part, the resulting legislation benefits the very industries that profit most from our current situation more than it benefits the people of America.

Pros and Cons of the Legislation

There are some provisions within the bill that are positive steps : comparative effectiveness research; funding for demonstration projects to improve care; a new emphasis on prevention, wellness, and public health; increased funding for community health centers; and incentives for primary care providers. These are all necessary provisions, but they do not offset the harm done by other provisions in the bill, such as the individual mandate to purchase private insurance with penalties for noncompliance and the $447 billion in public dollars being used to subsidize such purchases. The bill will omit at least 23 million people from having any coverage. And the requirement to accept people with pre-existing conditions will most certainly increase premiums such that they become unaffordable, or people will purchase policies with skimpier coverage. This will likely result in a larger population of underinsured people- those who risk bankruptcy from medical debt should they develop health problems.

And none of the positive steps turn us in the direction of creating a national health system such as there is in every other advanced nation. Rather, on the whole, this legislation, which was written with heavy input from private health insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists, further privatizes the financing of our health care and further enriches and empowers the very industries that are the problem. We know from experience both in the United States and abroad that market-based financing of health care is both the most expensive model and the most unjust, providing only as much health care as the patient can afford.

The Public Option Was Ruled Out at the Start

From the beginning of this process, it was clear that the administration and leadership had developed a strategy based on an outcome they believed they could achieve. The path was predetermined. All of the steps along the way, from the house parties that started during the winter of 2008 to the hearings, to the media spin, were planned so that the resulting "debate" was a drawn out performance of political theater. In order to disarm the corporate interests, the health industries that had opposed previous reforms were included on the inside. In order to disarm the Right, bipartisanship was at the forefront. In order to disarm the supporters of a single-payer plan, who are the majority, a campaign was developed around a promised "compromise," the public option, and given tens of millions of dollars for organizing and advertising. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

After the Reform: Aiming High for Health Justice
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.