These are quite desirable goals and certainly much more than the GOP had ever approached in their tenure, which was marked by costly warmongering and deregulation. While it is commendable that the loyal opposition voice their opinions, I find it difficult to believe that their goals are to fulfill the priorities of the average Joe and Jane.
The Wall Street Journal uses a similar title for their recent editorial, but the issues thay have with the Democratic health care fix are 180 degrees off. They oppose Obama by comparing the current proposal to the Massachusetts plan and they go out of their way to show the failings. First and foremost, health care insurance is not automatic and many people choose to open policies only when they are sick and then cancel them once their health is restored becauase the penalties for non-coverage are too small. Other problems are outlined as well.
The fact is that Obama's and the Democrats' proposals are terrible and the GOP is correct that none of the initial goals will be met. The failing of Massachusetts do not support eschewing reform, however... rather it underlines this fact: the only solution is a single payer Medicare-for-all option and anything less will not satisfy the goals as verbalized.
To wit, Obama's plan does not require coverage, so the risk pool will be too small. Obama's plan burdens employers, so the incentive would be to refrain from hiring employees. Obama's plan has no provision for cost containment or quality enhancement. The faults outlined by the GOP and the WSJ only show that Obama has not gone far enough in his proposal.
The Democrats are trying too hard to appease the Republicans and their small-government ideology. The fact is that the only way to reduce costs and cover everyone is to meld everyone into the Medicare program, the lowest cost/ highest quality program in the country, whcih is especially impressive considering it manages the highest risk and sickest patients. Quality and costs can be controlled in such an environment, as they are now. By increasing the risk pool, Medicare would become immediately solvent. People would still have the option of purchasing a private policy, as they do now with Medicare, but at least everyone would have basic coverage.
Paying for the system with a value-added or consumption tax seems the most rational approach, thereby releasing employers from the burden. My employer doesn't pay for my auto or homeowners insurance, so why should they pay for my health insurance?
The political realities that the Democrats much face are daunting, but with such massive control of the Congress and the public's overwhelming support for reform, this is the time for single payer to be passed and, as the WSJ has shown, anything less is foolish.