Perhaps no other issue in the last 20 years has been subject to more hyperbole, name calling and confusion than health-care reform. To most people it’s an important public policy debate; to too many politicians it’s a valuable wedge issue, to be wielded as election day approaches.
Let’s be honest, neither of the major political parties has all the answers about how to reform our health care system to better serve patients, health-care providers and the public interest. We did not support the massive government takeover of the health care system embodied in the expensive, dysfunctional Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. But we are also very disappointed by the, so far, clumsy attempts by Republicans to repeal and replace it. Political gamesmanship, once again, has gotten in the way of developing sound policies.
We like elements of Obamacare, such as allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plans and allowing people to move their coverage from one employer to another. We also support the measures that promote transparency, such as the requiring that doctors to reveal any potential conflicts of interest from accepting lucrative consulting deals with drug companies.
However, as the discussion about health-care reform goes forward it must be better focused on the achievable goal of bringing down costs for everyone. We need a targeted approach, and not a sweeping reform that takes us nowhere.