The economic case for health reform, Part II

In June, the White House issued a report making the case that health reform — well beyond a moral and social imperative — is also vital to the economic health of the country. Today, administration officials were at it again.

A new report from the Council of Economic Advisers finds that the health bills moving through the Senate would slow the growth rate of health care spending by 1 percent per year into the indefinite future — a trend that would reduce budget deficits, help small businesses, and even lower premiums for Medicare patients. White House senior economist Christina Romer told reporters Monday that those arguing against the Senate bill ”have not looked at the numbers.”

Christina Romer
Christina Romer

“We are headed for a train wreck,” she said.

This is hardly a new argument, and certain members of Congress have been screaming for years about the unsustainability of the country’s health care spending. Still, in the middle of a fierce health reform debate — in which scare tactics and political messaging have long-trumped the nuances of the policy — it’s worth reminding voters that leaving the health care system in its current form is no option.

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