Henry Waxman had it right: "if this [health care reform] was easy, we would've done it a long time ago."
It's not easy, and it sure isn't cheap.
Most Americans believe that their fellow citizens should have access to fundamental health care of some sort. You'd find few hard-hearted souls who'd let a fellow die of a heart attack simply because he didn't have insurance.
And most would provide more comprehensive care to children for a number of reasons: kids can't help what their parents do; they generally are less expensive than adults; and if you give them good care when they're young, they'll be healthier as adults.
We're not sure Congress should jump into comprehensive care for everyone--yet. A couple years ago, we listened as Howard Dean outlined a plan to gradually expand health coverage to the un- and under-insured. He argued to cover all the children first, then expand Medicaid to certain adults, and finally to cover everyone.
An incremental approach might still be best, especially given Congress's proven ability to screw up major legislation.
We don't know enough about the various competing proposals in Congress to endorse one over the other. We do know this: private markets can't solve the health care coverage issue. Further, the alleged "savings" in administrative costs being touted by the Obama administration are surely overstated--there's simply no way we'll pay for universal health care out of such savings, much of which are phantom in any event.
Also, there simply has to be some limit on the extent of coverage that's going to be offered to someone entirely on the government's dime, while folks who can afford it will have to be given the opportunity to pay for more.
The whole process makes us nervous. The last President borrowed at least a trillion dollars to fight an unnecessary war. This administration--which we still fully support--has gone deep into hock to prevent a depression, with encouraging results. We're not sure it makes sense to borrow more trillions to finance universal health care.
In short, the whole process makes us quite nervous.