Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Health Care Reform Revisited: Brown Defeats Coakley

In yesterday's Senate race Scott Brown (Rep) soundly defeated Martha Coakley (Dem) by 5 percentage points, according to today's headlines in the Boston Globe. While Coakley proved she is knowledgeable and articulate during the debates it seems that voters' took issue with health care reform and probably a number of other issues related to the economy, taxes, and national security.

What I think this election came down to was Massachusetts' voters deciding to mark their ballot for the candidate that best represented their own interests. A likely case for voters in every region of America.

But when it comes to heath care reform, MA is in an interesting predicament.
MA already provides universal, mandated health care coverage for all residents. So why would MA voters elect a candidate that is sure to secure votes in favor of national reform? A reform that would likely (some say, definitely) raise our federal taxes without providing any additional coverage in this state.

Unfortunately, as someone in favor of a national health system that functions well and more heavily emphasizes prevention and coordinates care through treatment and care maintenance, the case has not been clearly or convincingly made that national health care reform would help MA residents in any tangible way. Without strong support for Coakley on health care reform, her campaign seemed to turned to last ditch effort adds to paint Scott Brown as someone against clean energy initiatives, which didn't appear entirely credible. I think that it was too little, too late.

This election certainly brings some fire and passion into the next round of elections across the country and hopefully will wake up our politicians to some of the unanswered questions and dissatisfaction with how health care reform is heading. Let's usher in a new era where health care reform in this country is accomplished through truthful and transparent means, without backroom deals (uhhem...Nebraska) and misleading calculations.

Our political system is as fractured as our health care system. Both need an overhaul. Perhaps yesterday's vote will a true catalyst for change in Washington.

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