Most Americans know there is something wrong with our healthcare system, and it needs to be fixed. This past summer, a New York Times poll (6/21/09) found that nearly three-quarters of Americans favored "offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan like Medicare that would compete with private health insurance plans." That is the kind of plan that Congress should be working toward.
It couldn't be simpler. If the American people want a healthcare plan like Medicare, why not just include everyone in Medicare? You're born--you're covered. Unfortunately, our government doesn't do anything simple--especially the US Senate. The self-proclaimed World's Greatest Deliberative Body can't just do what the American people want. It has to hold hearings; ask tough questions; get straight answers and then deliberate.
And so it began...
Since the task was to reform the American healthcare system, the Senate naturally assigned the job to the Senate Finance Committee. I guess that is because the American healthcare system has a lot more to do with money than it does with health. Or maybe it was because committee chairman Senator Max Baucus (D-MN) has received more campaign contributions from health insurance and pharmaceutical industries than any current Democrat in Congress--thus making him an authority on the subject.
Senator Baucus, knowing that a majority of the American people want a government administered health insurance plan like Medicare, invited witnesses to testify before the Senate Finance Committee from just about every group interested in healthcare--except one: advocates of a government administered health insurance plan like Medicare.