Image isn't everything

November 13, 2009

After months of contentious wrangling, the House has passed its version of healthcare reform.

After months of contentious wrangling, the House has passed its version of healthcare reform. But to me, and many other observers, healthcare reform has largely become insurance reform. Why concentrate on slowing spending and controlling costs, those issues carry huge political risks. Insurance companies are easy targets. They have high-paid CEOs and they deny people with pre-existing conditions coverage, among other evils. Not surprisingly, polling data suggest that laying blame on insurance companies is safe ground for pols seeking to take a stand on reform.

In all fairness, the bill contains a variety of changes that focus on quality and health system performance improvements. These include proposals that encourage the development of more primary care providers.

Can that provision get any traction?