As we all know, there are no “death panels” in the actual health care reform bill — that’s a fantasy of Sarah Palin & Co.
But there is a real death panel up and running right now: the U.S. Senate. NYT:
The Obama administration sent signals on Sunday that it has backed away from its once-firm vision of a government organization to provide for the nation’s 50 million uninsured and is now open to using nonprofit cooperatives instead. Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, said on Sunday morning that an additional government insurer is “not the essential element” of the administration’s plan to overhaul the country’s health care system….
[T]he Senate Finance Committee appears to be forming a bipartisan consensus around the idea of nonprofit insurance cooperatives. The health care industry prefers that format, even though many liberal Democrats have argued that cooperatives would not have as much sway over the prices Americans pay for health care.
So the Senate, in effect, is strangling real health care reform in its cradle. Instead, we’ll get some modest tweaks, which will help, but which probably won’t do what’s necessary to stabilize the system. Which likely means higher costs, and higher premiums, into the foreseeable future. Good times, good times.
The real death panel is the Senate. Pass it on.