Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Health Reform Debate Scorecard: Heart Versus Brains

March 23, 2011 - On this, the first anniversary, of the passage of the health reform law, three things are self-evident.

• The fate of the law will be decided by either the Supreme Court or the 2012 Presidential and Congressional election, and will be sealed in 2013, one year before the law was to take full effect in 2014.

• The debate over the law will continue unabated and will rage on until November 2012, in the face of escalating costs, court battles, resistance to implementation and even defiance by the states, small and large businesses, and various sectors of the health care establishment.

• The core issue of the debate will be whether America, as a civilized nation, has enough heart, i.e., compassion to cover everybody and protect them against costs, or enough brains, i.e., intelligence to know costs of entitlement programs are historically uncontrollable without rationing and/or budgetary overruns.

The Health Reform Debate Scorecard

Here is the political scorecard, as Democrats and Republicans draw their lines in the sand, as seen by Americans and recorded by the media and as reflected in polls,

CNN: CNN Poll: Time Doesn't Change Views On Health Care Law
One year after President Barack Obama signed the health care reform bill into law, a new national poll indicates that attitudes toward the plan have not budged. According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday, on the one year anniversary of the signing of the law, 37 percent of Americans support the measure, with 59 percent opposed. That's basically unchanged from last March, when 39 percent supported the law and 59 percent opposed the measure.

The Washington Post: As Health Care Turns 1, Supporters Using Occasion To Shape Its Image: This week, a loose federation of left-leaning groups is convening nearly 200 gatherings to peddle the virtues of health care reform. A women’s speak-out in Philadelphia. A small-business round-table discussion in Albuquerque. A fish fry for seniors in Columbia, S.C. From the Obama administration alone, 42 officials are fanning out to events in 22 states.

NPR: As Health Law Turns 1, Debate Far From Settled: Wednesday marks a year since President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. But in those ensuing 12 months, the debate has barely missed a beat.

McClatchy/The (Columbia, SC) State: Doubts Persist About Year-Old Health Care Law A year into President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, a group of small-business people in South Carolina showed Monday that misgivings and misconceptions about the new program remain. About 30 people attended a round table to discuss the new health insurance law and its implementation in the state.

Kaiser Health News: One Year Down, Pollsters Handicap Health Law Politics:
From the very beginning, supporters of the health law said the American public would embrace the measure once they learned more about all of its consumer-friendly features. Opponents, especially Republicans, disagreed — and, for that, some were rewarded in the election of 2010. To get a fresh take on how these perspectives have played out and how public opinion has evolved read the Democratic perspective, offered by Celinda Lake, David Mermin and Dan Spicer; and the Republican view, from Bill McInturff and Lori Weigel. In related Kaiser Health News health law anniversary coverage, KHN staff asked players and experts from across the nation what they thought the landscape would be like – and, in their view, should be like – by the measure's second birthday.

ABC News: Health Care Law's First Anniversary: Why Haven't Americans Seen Changes Yet? With insurance premiums rising rapidly, most Americans still don't know what the health care law means for them. A poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation this month found that 52 percent of Americans don't feel they have enough information about the health reform law to understand how it will affect them personally, compared to 47 percent who think they do .

PBS Newshour: Adding Up Health Reform, One Year Later: Wednesday marks one year since health care reform was signed into law. The NewsHour takes a by-the-numbers look at some of the provisions that took effect during the law's first year.

MarketWatch: Health Reform, Age 1, Faces Tough Challenges:
But the larger issue remains a stubborn philosophical divide over the proper role of government in working out the cost and access problems that have left 50 million people uninsured and countless more with an increasingly tenuous grip on whatever coverage they do have. Opponents remain critical of the overhaul they fought to prevent, and experts say the 2012 presidential election may present the biggest threat to its continued implementation.

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