The suspense is over. For weeks we have been holding our collective breath to see if there would be real insurance reform. Now we know. President Obama’s speech this evening incorporated a lot of different ideas, but what was most striking was his statement that the public option was just one of the avenues that could be travelled to achieve an expansion of insurance coverage. Besides the demotion of the public option as an important tool to reign in the all powerful insurance companies, I noticed that there was no mention of universal health care. Wasn’t that the point of this whole exercise?
To be fair there are some good things. Under the President’s proposal there will be:
§ Coverage for pre-existing conditions
§ A cap on out-of-pocket expenses
§ People can no longer be dropped from insurance companies when they get sick
§ No further cap on what insurance companies will pay out
It is a good start, but it doesn’t go far enough.