This week’s Washington Post health care column is on the question of whether we can afford health care reform – meaning whether we can afford to subsidize poor and middle-class people who cannot otherwise pay for health insurance. This has a different meaning depending on you interpret “we” as the U.S. economy in general or the federal government, but in either case we think the answer is “yes.” Or at least, as far as the federal government is concerned, the answer is that we can’t afford not doing some form of health care reform, although it’s not certain that the reforms currently on the table will be sufficient to solve our government’s long-term fiscal problems.
“If you are for fiscal discipline, you should be for health-care reform. If our government cannot produce some kind of reform, that will only reinforce the perception that our political system is incapable of resolving our largest, most difficult problem — and that is what will make investors think twice about investing in America.”
By James Kwak