In Bob McDonnell’s Republican response to President Obama’s state of the union address, he noted that the “Democratic Congress continues deficit spending… and increasing the national debt on our children and grandchildren.” And he said that while Americans want affordable health care, they don’t want to have the federal government running the health care system.
I found this interesting, especially considering the history of the national debt since World War II. Even if they weren’t highlighted in red on the chart, the Regan/Bush/Bush years would stand out.
In addition, I thought Gov. McDonnell’s choice of words regarding the proposed health care reforms was interesting. When I picture a federal government running the health care system, I visualize things like single payer, government-owned hospitals, doctors who are federal employees… But I can’t see anything even close to that sort of system in either the House or Senate reform bills. So far, the reform efforts have focused mainly on keeping the mostly private nature of our health care system largely intact.
Yes, we would all have to purchase health insurance under the proposed reform bills. But if we want guaranteed issue universal coverage, and we don’t want the government running the health care system, there isn’t really a way around the requirement that everyone obtain coverage. And yes, we’ll need some additional tax revenues in order to help subsidize health insurance coverage for families who would otherwise be unable to afford it. But I can’t see how these things translate into the federal government running the health care system.