Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Health | Opinion
Mark Trahant: A new debate emerges on health care reform


"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. And, now a different kind of debate begins. Federal agencies, primarily at the Department of Health and Human Services and Treasury are writing regulations to implement the new law. There will be fights over words like “quality” or how we define and measure success.

Heck, the government cannot even talk about the law without generating controversy. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell called a new Medicare brochure little more than propaganda. “The flyer purports to inform seniors about what the health care bill would mean for them. Much of it directly contradicts what the administration’s own experts have said about the law,” McConnell said. “So this is a complete outrage, and it’s precisely the kind of thing Americans are so angry about at the moment.”

That anger, however, depends on your point of view. In a few days, the health care reform law will become real to many seniors when they receive $250 rebate checks to fill-in the “donut hole” for the drug coverage gap in Medicare Part D. Imagine the conversation in even conservative states when seniors start calling their congressional offices after a member proposes repeal. (“You want to take away my coverage?”)

Then again I understand the anger and the angst from many Americans about health care reform. When I started this project my hope was to communicate some of the lessons about “government run” health care to a larger audience. There is a lot to learn from what the government already manages in the health care arena. But the fact is the country is not ready for that conversation. Indeed, even a simple brochure, one similar to those produced by government agencies everyday generates a new manufactured controversy when it involves health care reform."

Get the Story:
A year goes by fast: A big picture look as the health care debate accelerates (Mark Trahant 5/31)

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