The insurance industry did itself no favors last week when it released a report purporting to show that health care reform would cause insurance premiums to skyrocket. The report focused on only a few specific changes contained in the various reform bills, rather than the bills in their entirety. And the report came out just a day before the Senate Finance Committee, the last of five congressional panels with jurisdiction, was scheduled to vote on a bill. Most of Washington interpreted the report as an effort to delay, if not derail, the reform debate--which it almost surely was.
We’ve heard Glenn Beck’s rants on Fox and read Sarah Palin’s posts on Facebook. We’ve watched LaRouche supporters disrupt town hall meetings and seen teabaggers descend upon Washington. We’ve talked about immigrants, abortion, and death panels--and listened to a woman named Betsy McCaughey explain why reform will mean pulling the plug on grandma. But, at the end of the day, the central challenge in crafting health care reform remains exactly what it’s always been: Coming up with the money to pay for it.