There is no possible compromise on health care and the myth of Obama as a “post-partisan” president is exactly that – a myth. The health care industry generates billions of dollars in profits and many people are seething that these profits might be curtailed. This issue can never be negotiated in Washington back rooms as there are huge interests vested in the status quo – such as the big insurance companies, health maintenance organizations and pharmaceutical giants. Like many social changes, for this one there will be winners and losers and an historic battle will determine the outcome.
As Obama noted in his message to supporters, “In politics, there’s a rule that says when you ask people to get involved, always tell them it’ll be easy. Well, let’s be honest here: Passing comprehensive health insurance reform will not be easy. Every President since Harry Truman has talked about it, and the most powerful and experienced lobbyists in Washington stand in the way.” But this time Obama has what those presidents lacked: the Internet and a powerful social movement that potentially can shift the relationship of forces in America away from the traditional entrenched interests towards the needs of the population.
…the rising cost of healthcare is driving people to lose their coverage because costs of employer funded healthcare are rising faster than we can keep up. When I co-founded my web agency in 1997, we offered healthcare and paid the entire cost. Today that isn’t possible anymore and employees share part of the cost, and many business don’t even offer coverage, or offer “sham” coverage.
The reality is that the current approach to health insurance has resulted in a loss of coverage for millions of people. From 1998 to 2008, the percentage of large employers who offered health coverage shrank from 66% to 31%, and the trend continues downward today . Rising costs will mean that many employees who are offered coverage won’t be able to afford to accept it.