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VOL. 6 | NO. 40 | Saturday, September 28, 2013



Editorial: Bottom Line: Health System Needs Reform

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Most of us by now have received letters from our employers regarding changes to our health care insurance that affect us now or will affect us in the future.

This is in addition to the yearly ritual so many of us have of the annual change in health insurance at our places of work.

What we don’t need is an ideological battle along worn and irrelevant party lines that add more uncertainty simply for the sake of one party banner flying higher than the other within the Washington beltway.

The debate about the best way to provide health insurance and bring the costs of medical care down is far from over.

There is much useful light that can and should come from a healthy and spirited debate about the provisions of what even the White House and Affordable Care Act supporters call Obamacare.

Solving those problems and concerns for people who have to rely on this new system shouldn’t be the casualty of the broader ideological debate.

It is clear from the insights of former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen into this issue, and others with a critical eye for the details instead of where the partisan barricades are, that the act will evolve and change.

It will have to change in order to make it work once the theoretical becomes the practical.

We are past the theoretical and into the practical – not much into it but enough that the political hand wringing should give way to that strangest element we ask our political leaders to deal with – reality.

In general we believe the best way to go about change is not to push the vehicle for change into the road and then try to make it work.

But we also see a health care insurance system that has not been working for far too long for far too many Americans.

And those are the folks starting to be covered in some way. Too many still have no coverage at all or their coverage is tenuous partly as a result of the dawn of the exchanges – state or federal.

Access to adequate health care remains an issue firmly rooted in affordability.

Bredesen is right when he sees little in the Affordable Care Act that makes nearly a modest amount of progress on solving that issue.

What this transition demands is an end to the partisanship and an attention to detail that has the common goal of something that works for those who need access to healthcare they cannot afford to pay for on their own. That is the vast majority of us.

If this is a common problem between Obamacare and what existed before, we think the prudent course of action is to work on what exists in the here and now.

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