I am by no means a health care or health insurance expert. I am merely a person who sometimes has health needs, who has worried about health insurance when unemployed or working short-term or part-time positions, and who believes that health care should be considered a fundamental right.
That said, here is what I hoped for in health care reform:
• An option, public or otherwise*, that would enable anybody to get health insurance at an affordable cost, regardless of pre-existing conditions, which would cover preventative care, normal health needs, and prevent people from going bankrupt or dying in the event of life-threatening illness or accidents.
That’s pretty much it, although I’d also like to see the health insurance industry prevented from continuing some of it’s more scurrilous actions, like “rescission” (aka, coming up with lame excuses to deny people coverage once they’ve gotten sick, see this LA Times story for more details).
Now we’ve gotten two drafts of health care bills coming out of Congress, one from the the House Democrats, and one from the Senate health, education, labor, and pensions committee (expect a bunch more- the Senate finance committee, and eventually some House committees, will probably be producing their own). Although I doubt the final bill will look anything like these, I’d like to see how well they do by my fairly lenient standards.
I will admit that I have not read the full bills. The House Dems’ one is over 1000 pages long, and the Senate HELP bill hasn’t been released in full. Instead, I’m using section by section summaries of the bills which can be found here [House Dems, PDF] and here [Senate HELP, PDF] . Also, Timothy Noah, at Slate.com, gives pretty good rundowns of the bills here and here . Read More