The Democrats have built their majority by expanding their tent; as a
result there is now a sizable group of antiabortion Democrats in
Congress. The new abortion divide—intra- along with inter-party—has
shaken the Democratic consensus on health insurance reform.
Yesterday, House Republicans passed a bill that, if enacted,
would repeal last year's health-care reform bill. It won't be enacted; it'll
never get past the Senate or the president. But the GOP took the House back in
part because of its promises to repeal reform, so a symbolic effort was
A newly elected Republican congressman was
distressed to find out that his government-funded health insurance policy
as a member of Congress won't kick in until February, a month after he is sworn
in. He asked: what could he do for insurance in the meantime?
During the health-care reform debate, those who opposed the reform bill talked a lot about how it was impossible to understand, how it wouldn’t do anything tangible for ordinary Americans and how it wouldn’t even take effect for years.
It seemed at times during last fall’s presidential election that the most crucial issue facing the nation was the price of prescription drugs for senior citizens. Besides indicating the importance of the over-65 voting bloc, the candidates’ focus on this issue revealed how limited political aspirations are these days, especially on health care.
Whenever talk turns to how dreadful health care is in countries where the government has a large role in it, I think back to a summer spent in Scotland. Our young son began to suffer from what seemed to be a virulent new allergy, and after sleepless nights and several days of sneezing, we went to the local infirmary, part of the national health plan.