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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Monday, September 25, 2023

GOP also in search of health-care solutions

In recent months the nation has become deeply involved in the subject of health-care reform. According to a recent CNN poll, 83 percent of Americans favor health-care reform. The way to do it, however, has been a hot topic for months now and the top domestic policy item on President Obama's agenda. The battle to reform health care is now coming to an apex in Washington. After passing in the House, all eyes turn to the Senate to see if this $1.2 trillion bill will pass. If you turn on CNN, Fox or MSNBC these days you can hardly avoid it. Yet even with so much news coverage, many people still know little about it. The Senate is getting ready to vote on a bill that will affect one fifth of our nation's economy, and, in typical Washington fashion, they have managed to convince Americans that if this is not done right away, the world will end at 2 p.m. on Friday.

Democrats need to understand that health-care reform must be done right. The bill that passed Saturday night in the House was the biggest bill ever to pass through our legislature along party lines. Not even Medicare was as one-sided of a vote as this health-care plan was. Certainly it's not that Republicans don't want health-care reform; the dispute is the means by which reform should be achieved. These debates stem from the idea of a ""public option."" This public option would essentially be a government-run health-care company to compete against private health-care companies.

Putting the same federal government that was responsible for the response to Hurricane Katrina in charge of people's health care has many conservatives, including myself, a bit worried. The same federal government that has left us with an obscene deficit will be creating another bureaucratic organization that will add more to the deficit in the long term. However, cost alone is not the only reason for many conservatives' opposition.

The rallying cry ""health care for all"" can be heard from proponents of this public option. Doesn't that sound wonderful? Everyone should have health-care coverage, right? Let's be honest, no one wants anyone to go without health care. In fact, as surprising as it may sound, conservatives want universal health care just as much as liberals. The difference is that liberals believe the federal government is the only way this can be accomplished, while conservatives believe it can be accomplished in other ways. In fact, many other options have been proposed to lower costs enough that accessibility for everyone could be achieved. U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., a physician by trade, has proposed an alternative bill that would drastically improve coverage while keeping the federal government from playing such a large role. The Center for Health Transformation has also been coming up with ways to cut costs and expand coverage. It has even proposed a plan that would cover almost everyone in America, without the federal government's involvement.

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Some may ask how anything can get done in this country without the all-knowing federal government doing it. Washington has been saying a public option will ""keep insurance companies honest."" My question is who will keep the government honest? The government's track record with regards to corruption is not the best. Another medical bureaucracy with that much fraud will make the bonuses of insurance company CEOs, whom many decry, look like small change.

How we proceed from here is a matter of life and death for many Americans. While we must reform our health-care system, doing so in such a manner as many in Washington have proposed will bankrupt our nation even further while expanding government to historic levels. That's fine for many liberals who see it as a moral issue to let people go without health care, but I think we can find better ways to insure more Americans without having the government do it for us. It's time for Washington to slow down and consider the options before making such big decisions that will affect millions of Americans. If we do this the wrong way, we will be paying for it for generations to come. If we do it the right way, however, we can cover millions more Americans while keeping the involvement of government to a minimum.

Matt Payne is a sophomore intending to major in Chinese and economics. Please send all feedback to 

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