Health care reform debate: ‘The sky is falling!’

    The final stages of the health care reform debate remind me of the old story about "Chicken Little." Now don’t get me wrong, I think there are elements of HR 3590 that are terrible and the real reform that needs to take place – lowering the cost of care – is largely unaddressed in this legislation.

    Unfortunately, however, the endgame has devolved into a giant excuse for raising money and not an honest debate of the issues. Case in point is an email I received from John McCain last Thursday entitled "Time is running out on health care reform". I am implored to "send a message to President Obama, Harry Reid and their friends on the left that the opposition to this plan is strong . . . . . we have very little time, and every dollar counts."

    Then, a couple of hours ago I received an email from the crowd entitled "Wow!" In it I’m invited to donate money to help support as yet unknown candidates to challenge any House Members who vote against the Reform Bill. They’ve raised $1 million this week alone (thus the "Wow!") but want to raise another million by Friday.

    And in between just these two recent examples, I’ll bet I’ve had more than a dozen other similar solicitations. All of them claim "the sky is falling" and only by sending more money can ‘we’ win the day.
    Dragging this battle on from Labor Day to Thanksgiving to Christmas to the State of the Union Address to now  . . . and maybe on to Easter and then beyond  . . . may not be an accident. A cynic in the crowd might conclude delay is good for business! I just hope I have some change left in my pockets after it all ends!


    Jon Rauser is president of The Rauser Agency Inc., Milwaukee. He writes an ongoing blog about the health care industry at

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