Lawmakers Should Focus on Solutions To Help the Nation’s Uninsured, Not Politics
With 40 million people uninsured, the cost of managed health care rising, employers dropping coverage, and states planning cuts in public health care programs, "health care gridlock has the attention of politicians and business leaders alike, but politics still drives the debate," a Los Angeles Times editorial states. Instead of focusing on proposals that offer solutions, Democratic presidential candidates have been "pound[ing] on the stinginess of President Bush's tax cut proposal for helping the uninsured poor" while Republicans "scoff at the cost of Democratic alternatives." The Times writes that "more honest voices" and more debate on proposals that would provide solutions to the greater health care coverage problem are necessary. Two such proposals include one in Congress by Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) that would offer tax credits for low- and middle-income people to cover health insurance costs and another offered by California Assembly member Rebecca Cohn (D) that proposes an "essential benefits plan" as a compromise with state employers, who say workers' compensation fees, a family leave requirement and a minimum wage increase could force them out if business if they cannot cut benefits. The Times concludes that while Breaux and Cohn have good ideas, "the uninsured will probably have to pray for good health until at least after the next presidential election, unless a rash of selfless public service breaks out in Sacramento and Washington" (Los Angeles Times, 4/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.