Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday Pre-Election Health Edition

A lot of opinion and speculation today about how health reform will affect the midterm elections -- and how the midterm elections will affect health reform.

First, the brilliant Jonathan Cohn writes: What if the President had not pushed for health reform? Would we be a whole lot better off? Would the midterms look different?

Still, the health reform law is unpopular in key House districts, where some Democrats will lose seats because of their pro-reform vote.

Part of the opposition comes from people who are seeing their insurance premiums rise. Insurers are blaming this on health reform, but the people in the know say that's just plain false. Everything I've read -- much of which is discussed in previous blog posts -- says health reform is responsible for 1-2% of premium increases. The rest is due to rising costs, including executive salaries and bonuses.

While we at Advocacy for Patients take no position on voting for particular candidates, we very much favor health reform as a good first step towards expanding coverage, thereby reducing emergency room visits and medical bankrutpcy when all of the changes kick in in 2014. We hope that you will read and listen and think carefully before casting your vote. At the very least, ask what the repealers will do instead of health reform to stop rising premium costs and increase coverage. If they have no answers, is repeal without replacement a reasonable position? You decide -- and please vote. Jennifer

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