As you all know, Jacob Hacker, a professor of political science at Yale and fellow at the New America Foundation, is widely credited with coming up with the idea for a public option. He is also an expert on the politics of U.S. health and social policy, he is author, coauthor, or editor of numerous books and articles, both scholarly and popular, including The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream (2006; paperback, January 2008) and Health At Risk: America’s Ailing Health System and How to Heal It (2008).
Today, Jacob Hacker, on New Republic, wrote a piece in "shy" support of the Senate Health Care Bill. For the past two days, progressives and other are debating whether the Bill should be killed or not. Some argue that without a strong public option, there is no Health Care Reform. While other are pledging pragmatism over idealism and are hoping that the bill can be fix in the future.
Jacob Hacker said that while he is tempted to side with Howard Dean in his call to kill the Bill, he also thinks that any delay on Health Care Reform can hurt millions of americans. I agree myself with Hacker. In my humble opinion, I think it always easy to fix something that exists than starting a new reform from scratch. Even Ted Kennedy said that one of his biggest regrets was his opposition to President Nixon's health reform proposal.
As I said before, I think the senate should pass the bill, and make some improvements in the conference. Then if it's still possible go nuclear by using reconciliation in adding the Public Option in the next bugdet.
Is Killing the Bill a solution ? If so what next ? Do you really think that killing the bill will help more Dems in 2010 ? Or Could "Saving The Bill" be helpful for Dems in the next election ?
Here some highlights of Jacob Hacker's article and you can found it at The New Republic
For me, the question is particularly difficult. I have been the thinker most associated with the public option, which I’ve long argued is essential to ensuring accountability from private insurers and long-term cost control. I was devastated when it was killed at the hands of Senator Joe Lieberman, not least because of what it said about our democracy -- that a policy consistently supported by a strong majority of Americans could be brought down by a recalcitrant Senate minority.
It would therefore be tempting for me to side with Howard Dean and other progressive critics who say that health care reform should now be killed.
It would be tempting, but it would be wrong.
Since the first campaign for publicly guaranteed health insurance in the early twentieth century, opportunities for serious health reform have come only rarely and fleetingly. If this opportunity passes, it will be very long before the chance arrives again. Many Americans will be gravely hurt by the delay. The most progressive president of my generation--the generation that came of age in the anti-government shadow of Ronald Reagan--will be handed a crippling loss. The party he leads will be branded as unable to govern.
The public option was always a means to an end: real competition for insurers, an alternative for consumers to existing private plans that does not deny needed care or shift risks onto the vulnerable, the ability to provide affordable coverage over time. I thought it was the best means within our political grasp. It lay just beyond that grasp. Yet its demise--in this round--does not diminish the immediate necessity of those larger aims. And even without the public option, the bill that Congress passes and the President signs could move us substantially toward those goals.
As weak as it is in numerous areas, the Senate bill contains three vital reforms. First, it creates a new framework, the "exchange," through which people who lack secure workplace coverage can obtain the same kind of group health insurance that workers in large companies take for granted. Second, it makes available hundreds of billions in federal help to allow people to buy coverage through the exchanges and through an expanded Medicaid program. Third, it places new regulations on private insurers that, if properly enforced, will reduce insurers’ ability to discriminate against the sick and to undermine the health security of Americans.