Healthcare reform now (not later) to fix safety net’s gaping holes

Friday, January 30th, 2009
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

says NY Times Paul Klugman. He offers a compelling argument for healthcare reform now as part of the current economic overhaul, not a secondary priority to be dealt with once the economy is stable. To his comments I add the observation that without healthcare coverage and the access to care it provides, the rising numbers of unemployed will put off essential care until health crises send them to already overloaded ERs. Healthcare expenditures will explode and more frighteningly, ERs will buckle from the increased demand.

Perhaps some action will come from the mounting “populist rage” Klugman describes. And yeah, I’m one of those angry “ordinary citizens” watching bankers get huge bailouts while the rest of us suffer. President Obama should attach conditions to these bailouts — holds on bonuses, raises and any frivolous purchases like office decor and corporate jets — until these businesses can stand on their own again.

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