No reform? -- blame Massachusetts
When George McGovern lost the 1972 presidential election by a landslide vote to Richard Nixon I was proud of my car bumper sticker which read, "Don't Blame Me I'm From Massachusetts." Massachusetts was proven by history to be correct in its support of McGovern against Richard Nixon.
Unfortunately, the results of the special election to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat threatens to undermine the health care reform process in our country. It is ironic that Massachusetts has led the nation in providing for the health care of 99 percent of state residents but the majority of people in our commonwealth reject health care coverage to 30 million of our fellow citizens.
According to the statements made by Scott Brown, health care reform is too expensive and will raise taxes. This of course is false, as economists have decided that the reform package as presented by Congress would be budget neutral over time. It is amazing and most gratifying to see the outpouring of aide provided to the poor people of Haiti by the American people yet we deny access to essential health care for our own desperate people because "it would raise taxes." We have a moral and ethical obligation to provide universal health care coverage to all of our people.
Yes, the present health care reform bill passed by the Senate is flawed but it does provide this coverage as well as a ban on the infamous pre-existing condition clause by insurance companies. Over time the present health care reform bill could be improved upon to correct some of the shortcomings of the present legislation. Being a single-payer advocate, this would be my ultimate goal for health care reform.
I'm fearful that the result of our Senate election may have doomed health care reform. If this is the case then my new bumper sticker would read, "Health care reform -- Blame Massachusetts."
STANLEY M. SHAPSHAY, M.D.
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