"Health Care Can't Wait" -- Sen. Kennedy
Sen. Kennedy's call in the Washington Post today draws on the Massachusetts experience to argue for national reform:
President-elect Barack Obama has issued a clarion call for action on health care. His practical and thoughtful proposals draw from our Massachusetts experience and add important measures to improve quality and reduce costs. His plan includes crucial investments in modernizing the use of information technology in health care. He calls for a new emphasis on prevention and wellness, because the best way to treat a disease is to prevent it from striking.
Opponents also argue that the cost would be too high and that any such reform must be deferred because of the economic crisis. I reject that argument. It is painfully obvious that our health-care system costs Americans too much, costs employers too much, denies too much needed care and leaves out too many Americans. The rising cost of health care is clearly contributing to the troubled economy and needlessly strains family pocketbooks. Even worse, these costs are expected to climb higher, more than doubling in the next 10 years. We can no longer afford not to act.
The cost will be substantial, but the need for reform is too great to be deflected or delayed. Our recent successes in passing mental health parity for the nation and achieving broad health reform in Massachusetts suggest that most Americans will agree.