Clinton’s people and Obama’s people got together over the weekend and came to an agreement: the Democratic party is committed to guaranteed health care for all. The details are a little fuzzy, but at least there’s party unity on this issue.
Clinton wanted to make health insurance mandatory for all Americans. Obama has taken a slightly more laissez faire approach, and wants to make health insurance more accessible and affordable rather than making it a requirement. But as a group, the Democratic party is now “united behind a commitment that every American man, woman and child be guaranteed to have affordable, comprehensive health care.” It will be interesting to see what health care reform details are presented later this month when the party leaders arrive here in Colorado for the DNC.
It appears that there won’t be a push towards a single-payer system any time soon, but it’s unclear how the the plan adopted by the Democratic party (or the Republican party for that matter) will guarantee health care for all. Obama’s position has long been that people don’t have health insurance because they can’t afford it, and for the majority of uninsured Americans, I believe this is true. When families are struggling financially, non-tangibles like health insurance may be the first to get the axe – especially when people are healthy. Help from the government could help people hang onto their coverage, but we also need to look at the big picture and work to get health care prices under control. As long as they continue to rise far faster than inflation, the price of health insurance will follow suit, and people will need more and more government assistance in order to pay their premiums.