The Government Can't Afford to Foot the Health Care Bill

medicineIs it me or has the issue of healthcare reform slid off the radar in this 2012 election? We talked last fall about how "Medicare" and "Medicaid" had become the words that shall not be named by President Barack Obama. Ditto healthcare. And yet, somehow by not talking about it, Americans have decided that they trust Obama on healthcare more than the Republicans, at least according to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. There's a reason Obama isn't talking about it. He doesn't want to acknowledge that the issue is a bit of a train wreck. And that the Supreme Court may be about to up end his healthcare agenda if they decide the "individual mandate" is illegal.

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Here's a quick look at the Kaiser study:

58% of Americans trust Obama to make the right decisions on the health care law and Medicare. By contrast, only 43% trust his closest Republican rivals on those issues.

Among Republicans surveyed, Rick Santorum does the best on health care issues. He was trusted by about 70% of Republicans, compared to about 65% for Mitt Romney and 60% for Newt Gingrich.

The survey also ranked the relative importance of health care issues among presidential election voters. Two issues topped the list: the cost of health insurance and Medicare, deemed "extremely important" by more than 1 in 3 voters. The health care law and birth control were deemed crucial by 24%, abortion by 21%.

While poor Mitt Romney has been blasted for being a flip-flopper, no one is giving him credit for wanting to insure the uninsured or wanting to block insurance companies from the heartless practice of denying coverage to those who need it most -- those with pre-existing conditions. It seems to me that Romney needs to clarify that he just doesn't think the Feds can afford it and at one trillion dollars, the question is, "Who does?" Romney and a lot of other smart Republicans want to allow states to pool together to lower costs. 

Let's not get stuck on the issues of Planned Parenthood and birth control when the implications of this healthcare decision are also far reaching. While I admit Obamacare was a well-intentioned program, and America cannot consider itself a moral leader in the world until it addresses the real hurt at the bottom of our healthcare system, the reality is the Feds can't afford to foot the bill. Maybe Massachusetts could when Romney was Governor, but at $1 trillion, it's pretty clear that given our economy, Uncle Sam can't. Let's be compassionate and provide a life raft to those truly at risk of drowning by coming up with creative and affordable solutions. But let's not put the country's financial future at risk by having everyone else jump into the water unprotected. Allowing business and individual state's to innovate is the answer. 

 

This post is part of a weekly conversation with our 5 Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers.To see the original question and what the other bloggers have to say, read Does a Candidate's Position on Health Care Affect Your Vote?

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