In his State of the Union speech, President Bush set a goal of achieving high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. “We must work toward a system in which all Americans have a good insurance policy,” he said, so that people can “choose their own doctors, and seniors and low-income Americans receive the help they need.”
President Bush proposed spending “an additional $400 billion over the next decade to reform and strengthen Medicare.” But why strengthen just Medicare and why phase in this appropriation over a decade? Why not move toward universal health care? As he said of tax cuts, if it is “good for Americans three or five or seven [or ten?] years from now, it is even better for Americans today.” Why not achieve his goal now, this year?
Donald W. Light is a fellow of the Center for Biothics at the University of Pennsylvania and a professor of health care policy at the School of Osteopathic Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.