So one thing I want to remind our on-the-fence Democratic Senators who are worried that their constituents would be unhappy if they vote for a workable healthcare plan this year: in 1994 Switzerland passed a healthcare referendum by a very narrow margin (less than 1%). By 2008, even those conservative politicians who fought bitterly against universal coverage agree they would never give up the benefits that comes from universal coverage.
And as Dr. Krugman says, the goal of universal coverage is definitely doable for a price we can afford.
[W]e’re probably looking at between $1 trillion and $1.3 trillion.
There are a number of ways to look at this number, but maybe the best is to point out that it’s less than 4 percent of the $33 trillion the U.S. government predicts we’ll spend on health care over the next decade. And that in turn means that much of the expense can be offset with straightforward cost-saving measures, like ending Medicare overpayments to private health insurers and reining in spending on medical procedures with no demonstrated health benefits.
Just think: an improved system that wastes less and insures more is definitely in our reach. It's time for Americans to have a system that works for America.