I suspect that this column by Sen. Collins was drafted before the junior senator's recent discussions with the Obama administration, and before the OMB released encouraging data on health care premiums earlier this week.
At least I hope so: The piece is full of unsubstantiated dire predictions and unsourced, dubious empirical claims.
And then there's this:
Most of the health care reform debate so far has centered on the need to expand coverage to the uninsured, a goal that I embrace. No one should have to cope with a devastating illness and the prospect of bankruptcy because of a lack of insurance. The fact is, however, that it will be difficult to achieve our goal of universal coverage until we find a way to control the health care costs that have driven up the cost of coverage for families, employers and governments alike.First of all, the notion that the health care reform debate has centered on expanding coverage is obviously false. There's been much more discussion of the public option, abortion and "death panels."
But more important is Collins' bizarre claim that achieving universal coverage will be "difficult." After all, the legislation on the table right now gets us almost all the way there.
So yes, getting to universal coverage has been "difficult." But it's been difficult, mostly, because people like Susan Collins have been doing whatever they can to block it.