From David Leonhardt in the NY Times an argument
that the current bills on healthcare reform under consideration in the Congress are middle of the road. Really? With no malpractice/tort reform? This is like a church where believing in God is optional.
The one big conservative idea that’s largely missing is malpractice reform. But the White House said several times that it was willing to negotiate on this issue. And think about it: Rahm Emanuel, the Obama chief of staff, likes to say the only thing that’s not negotiable is success. Don’t you think Mr. Obama would have gladly taken some heat from trial lawyers in exchange for passing health reform with bipartisan support and making himself look like a transformational leader?
Maybe now would be a good time to do more than says they'd be willing to negotiate. Maybe Obama should get out there and affirmativiely offer to put in malpractice reform in exchange for Republican support. He is President after all. And I am willing to apportion blame for HCR's likely failure to Republicans if they weren't/aren't willing to support HCR for political reasons even if Dems and Obama would compromise on malpractice reform.
And what about low-cost, high deductible plans that primarily provide catastrophic coverage? Those are not only not part of the current reform plan, but outlawed by it.
I'll be sorry to see HCR die (we do really need it) but I don't think you can excude the 2 biggest "conservative" ideas about how to do it.