Opinion

The ups and downs of health care

The French philosopher Voltaire warned us that the perfect is the enemy of the good, but is the health care legislation passed by Congress so deeply flawed that it can no longer be considered good? In order to make that determination, let’s first look at the legislation’s merits.

First and foremost, the legislation provides insurance to 30 million Americans who would otherwise be uninsured. It ends the practice of discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. It also allows children and young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance plan until they are 26.

In addition, it includes experimental pilot programs that may help reduce health care inflation in the long run.Truthfully, no one knows whether these programs will actually work, but they are a step in the right direction.

Finally, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has stated that the legislation will reduce the federal deficit by $138 billion over the 2010-2019 period. However, these numbers may not be completely reliable.

The legislation has been loaded with dodges that are designed to get a good score from the Congressional Budget Office, but will not actually control spending. Perhaps the biggest and most important of these is the excise tax dodge.

The primary revenue source for the legislation is a tax on high-cost insurance plans, or so-called “Cadillac plans.” The problem is that this tax won’t be levied for another eight years.What would lead anyone to believe that a future Congress will have the guts to accept a trillion dollar tax, when the current Congress refuses to accept a billion dollar tax?

The excise tax dodge was added in the reconciliation bill because the House of Representatives refused to accept the fiscally responsible Senate bill without any changes. For health care reform to be truly successful it must increase coverage and reduce deficits. Unfortunately, the legislation passed by Congress only accomplishes one of these.

Thomas Prieto is a senior majoring in political science. He may be contacted at tprieto@themiamihurricane.com.

March 24, 2010

Reporters

Thomas Prieto

Contributing Columnist


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “The ups and downs of health care”

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Shakey Rodriguez, the Miami high school basketball coaching legend, vividly remembers the first time ...

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

William W. Sandler Jr. Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education earns national recognition for it ...

Retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez gives "Major League" advice to UM’s fall graduating c ...

Becoming the Man of the Hour ...

Always a little bit of a flair for the dramatic. ...

A scholarship created by retired Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez and born out of his love ...

University of Miami senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios earned 2017 first-team 2017 CoSIDA Academic ...

The Hurricanes and Colonials square off at noon Saturday in Washington, D.C. ...

University of Miami men's basketball player Chris Stowell is an active member in the Hurricanes ...

Eighteen Hurricane student-athletes graduated from four schools and colleges at the University of Mi ...

Miami director of track and field/cross country Amy Deem's incredible career earned her a place ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.