A week ago today voters in Massachusetts went to the polls and sent a message to Congress: they do not like the direction that health care reform is taking. I am glad that this particular reform effort has been derailed.
Congress was moving too fast and were not fully examining the implications of the proposed legislation. Our representatives were making short term compromises, like the Nebraska Provision, to push through a bill that favored short-term concessions at the expense of genuine, long-term solutions.
I was glad to hear President Obama say that he was in favor of a more measured approach as Congress moves forward. In his interview with George Stephanopoulos last week he said, “I would advise that we try to move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that people agree on.”
Incremental reform that addresses the core elements of both the Democratic and Republican bills is key to a successful health care reform bill. Congress must address one issue at a time instead of trying to fix everything at once.
Regrettably, there are reports emerging today that congressional Democrats have not gotten the message from the voters or the President. It would be a HUGE mistake to try to pass reform via the reconcilliation process (which requires just 51 votes in the Senate).
I am an advocate of health care reform. Our current health care model in this country is unsustainable. But to think that one piece of legislation will be the ultimate fix is just not feasible. I’ll continue to write these posts to keep you informed of any developments on the health care bill, as I believe it is important that we as active citizens stay engaged in the process.