I prefer not to get too into politics here (I'd really rather not increase the amount of vitriol on the internet), but I'd like to toss out my two cents on why I'm in favor of health care reform, and some of the most significant things in the current proposal.
By far, I see the most significant part of (what I've heard about) the current legislation is that it defines as policy that people in the United States will be able to acquire, afford, and keep health insurance. There are two approaches taken in the bill: (a) set minimum benefits and maximum prices for a basic insurance plan that insurers must offer, and outlawing the denial of legitimate claims; and (b) offer a public competitor. (a) says, basically, insurers must behave as decent members of society and not as money grubbing whatevers. (b) says that the government will set the bar. As a concession to insurers, every individual will be required to carry insurance (or pay a fine); theoretically, this will provide a broader population to spread out costs, so not just the sickest people are insured.
I'm in favor of this for two reasons: (1) I think it's the right thing to do. Like Jacob, I'm skeptical that the government will be the ideal
guardian of anything. But, at this point in history, if I have to choose between the government and the private insurance industry, I'm picking the government. I'm a bit uneasy about the constitutionality of it, but I'm all for the practicality of it. (2) I think it will remove hurdles for aspiring/potential entrepreneurs. Imagine that you or your family have had expensive and/or chronic medical conditions in your past, and you have kids or your condition might come back at any time. Would you step out from under the (somewhat) sturdy and wide umbrella of group coverage, without at least some confidence that your own little umbrella for your family isn't made of paper mache?
This is obviously a huge issue, and three paragraphs probably won't sway anyone else's opinion. I just thought I'd try to voice my sane (at least to me) opinion on the matter, since there's so much ... unhelpful information flying around about it. (Let's just say I should forget the cows
and just take a radio out to the pasture... then it'll be really fertile for next year's veggies.)