Friday, May 02, 2008

bipartisan universal health care?

Amidst all of the protests all over the world yesterday over US immigration policy, the war in Iraq, remembering the Holocaust, food prices, and worker's rights, there was some good news in Washington, DC.
The [Congressional] Budget Office report, drafted with the help of the Joint Committee on Taxation, said if the [Healthy Americans Act] was passed this year, the insurance system could be set up by 2012 and fully running by 2014. And while it would cost an unspecified amount in those two transition years, it would be "roughly budget neutral" by 2014. After that, it would actually raise a little money for the government, according to the analysis, which the senators will undoubtedly use in their sales pitches to the next president and their fellow senators.
The even better news is that the sponsors include Sens. Bob Bennett (R-UT) and Bob Corker (R-TN). In fact, there are seven Democrats and seven Republicans sponsoring this bill. This bill sounds like as good a starting point on reforming our health care system--by allowing employees to keep their health care plan even if they leave their job that provided their coverage, and more importantly, the coverage would remain at the same rate they paid before. I hope the next President--Obama, McCain, or Clinton--will not be overly wedded to their campaign plan and give this one a serious chance. Of course, this hope is dependant upon these 14 senators sticking with this plan (and getting his/her colleagues to support it) even if their preferred presidential candidate doesn't win.

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