No, Joe, We Can't Put Off Health Care

Procrastinating will only inflate costs in the long run
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2009 10:18 AM CDT
Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn, talks about the agreement on the $789 billion economic stimulus measure at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – Joe Lieberman recently opined that, given our deficit woes, we should wait to reform health care, saying “There’s no reason we have to do it all now." Well, he’s dead wrong, writes David Lazarus of the LA Times. Without reform, costs will keep going up, and the ranks of the uninsured will keep growing, meaning reform will cost even more when we do get around to tackling it.

And reform will probably cost more money than we expect it to. “I say: So what?,” writes Lazarus. If we can fund bank bailouts and a couple of wars, can’t we pay for something as crucial as health care? And, as Lieberman suggested, we cannot tackle health care costs first and the uninsured second. The problems are intertwined, and, yes, expensive. But, Lazarus concludes, "as the mechanic in those old oil filter commercials said, 'You can pay me now, or pay me later.' ”