Pass it now so we can fix it later

By EmmaGold

There’s a lot that is wrong with both healthcare reform bills. Many other people have listed them, so I probably don’t need to.

Pass them (either one) anyway.

First, there’s the good stuff reform will do now: ending practices like recission and gender-rating, insuring millions of people, keeping premiums and out-of-pocket costs low through subsidies, establishing healthcare as a right, etc.

But even more importantly, passing healthcare reform- any healthcare reform- sets us up to actually fix the system in the future. If reform passes now, it won’t be the end. The public option can be added to the exchanges in a few years. We can get rid of the awful abortion restrictions and get illegal immigrants covered. We can impose stricter cost controls.

But we can’t do any of those things if we don’t pass something now. Right now, we have the largest Democratic majority in Congress since 1994- the last time health reform failed. We have (sort of) 60 votes in the Senate. Our majority isn’t going to stay that high, and shooting reform down now will only ensure that our representatives are afraid to bring it back up for another 15 years.

If we pass something now, we can keep working for more improvements. If we pass nothing, we’re stuck with the system we have now — the system under which 45,000 Americans die every year because they can’t get insurance.