Some reader responses to our Question of the Day, which was: How optimistic are you that President Obama will sign health care reform legislation into law by the end of the year? If so, why? If not, why not?
Optimistic? I'm terrified.
A bill will be signed for sure, simply because so many have so much at stake. It might not have a lot of things that most democrats want, and it might have some things that they don't.
Overall there is quite a bit of confusion, even for the really well informed, about what is actually happening with health care legislation. Confusion breeds pessimism, even if the pessimism isn't necessarily warranted. All I know is that the Obama Administration keeps making deals with hospitals and insurance companies. I don't think that those in the health care industry would be making these deals if they didn't think some type of reform was coming. Why be at the table if you thought nothing was going to happen? As long as the industry thinks something is going to happen, I'll continue to guardedly optimistic.
Also, the democrats have really tethered themselves to enacting some type of health care reform. If they don't get something done voters will have little confidence in them in 2010. I'd like to believe that Senate Democrats aren't that stupid. I'd like to, but they haven't given me a lot of reason to, yet.
I am very optimisitc IN SPITE of the Senate. And for a very simple reason: the entire Democratic primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama eventually boiled down to health care as their main difference and Hillary Clinton won the debate on points even if she lost the election. Beyond simply the democratic base; the entire nation has internalized the debate on health care and reached the Democratic Party's conclusion: we need real reform. It's why the choice of the public option has gained steam in the face of 1 million dollar a day lobbyists money being poured against it. It's why people want health care reform even as they fear the growing deficit.
The Democratic Party knows it needs real reform, the base demands a public option, and independents have signed on to reform.
It's going to get done at the end of the day IMO, it's gonna have a ground breaking public insurance option, and it's going to save a lot of Democrats in 2010 even as the job losses increase b/c Democrats can say accurately they inherited a bigger problem than they thought from Bush BUT they increased the social safety net so if you lost your job your family still has health care and unemployment insurance.
From Bill. B:
I am optimistic a bill will be signed that will make things better, despite the senate.
But what I'd really like is universal health care, like they have in pretty much every other wealthy country. Until that happens, I don't think the cost of health care (which is 50% more per person than everywhere else in the world) will go down that much.