Requiem for health care reform?

Shock and dismay reverberated around the country last week as people took in the enormity of the impact of Martha Coakley’s Massachusetts loss. I remember sitting in my driveway very early Wednesday morning and thinking, “No way, Ted Kennedy’s seat, the year he died. It’s just not possible.” Well, it was, and it is. And now it’s déjà vu all over again. Having been through this several times, I have been optimistically skeptical about health reform from the start. Now, I am left with a sad, fundamental conclusion. Maybe Americans don’t really want to provide health care for the 47 million of us who lack it, and the millions more who could lose it at any minute. When the George Clooney clone (Up in the Air) enters your office, mine or a family member’s office and delivers word of an impending layoff, we’d be without health care. I don’t want my country to treat people that way; it’s about fairness and justice.

Well, anger will get us only so far. Read what our own stargazer Professor Jon Oberlander and other have to say about health reform. It’s not over yet, but it’s not going to look like it did last week. Democrats, Republicans and Independents should get together and start building a health reform plan that can work.  Let’s get past politics and be practical!

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