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A "Profiles in Courage" Moment

Jeff Hall

Posted on July 31, 2017 13:20

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It's time to get back to process, deliberation and bipartisanship. That will take courage. The bravery of a few could inspire others to take a long overdue stand for sanity.

Many years ago, John F. Kennedy wrote a book, Profiles in Courage, about senators who cast difficult votes that ultimately cost them their seats. 

I hope Lisa Murkowski, John McCain and Susan Collins get to keep their seats, but their courage should be applauded -- now -- by all who believe the current way of doing things is hopelessly broken. 

Maybe, just maybe, their courage will inspire others to stand up and be counted against the current climate of pettiness, greed, anger and partisanship. Maybe John McCain's "thumbs down" will be viewed, a year from now, as the turning point. 

It's not just about winning one for your team -- or your campaign contributors -- it's about winning for the American people.  

Even most Democrats know Obamacare has its flaws.  Compared to other countries, we spend far more on healthcare and get crummier results.  Just as Republicans should have come up with a real alternative to Obamacare, Democrats should now jump in proactively with proposals to make Obamacare better.

I am not a healthcare expert, and simple solutions like single-payer sound good to me.  For a system to be effective, I think, it has to be understandable.  Nobody understands all the complexity that goes into our current healthcare system.  Surely our current system isn't the system one would design if building a healthcare system from scratch.

It's all the special interests -- insurance companies, Big Pharma, doctors, rich people wanting more tax cuts, etc. -- that make it so hard to break free of the shackles. 

I think, in the interest of time, Congress should, in short order: 1) do its best to fix Obamacare; and 2) form a blue-ribbon committee that includes representatives from all the important constituencies and task them with coming up with a plan within a year. 

Then, within 90 days of receiving that plan, congress should hold hearings, debate, propose amendments, if any -- and then vote on that plan.  If it passes, the new system should phased in over three years. 

So, using this approach, if all goes as hoped, we'd live with a slightly flawed Obamacare for the next four years, followed by whatever comes next (which, we hope to God, would be far better than what's being talked about now).

Then, having punted on healthcare for now, Congress could get back to work on other issues and try a different approach this time. 

If they have the courage.

Let's hope they do. 

 

 

Jeff Hall

Posted on July 31, 2017 13:20

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Source: Vox - All

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