And What if We’d Been “Incremental” About Civil Rights?

Well, it’s a good start. According to Cathleen Crowley in today’s Albany Times Union:

Nearly 200 residents and members of the health care industry gathered at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Wednesday for the first in a series of hearings on the future of New York’s health system.

Several people who testified argued for sweeping changes that would move New York to a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system eliminating the private insurance industry. Others, including representatives of the insurance industry, argued for incremental change that introduces some reform but builds on the current system.

The hearing was hosted by state Health Commissioner Richard Daines, state Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo and Joseph Baker, who serves as Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s assistant deputy secretary of Health and Human Services. Daines, Dinallo and Baker were joined by several experts in the health field, officials from the governor’s administration and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried.

Dubbed “Partnership for Coverage,” the panel will hold six hearings across the state to solicit ideas for expanding health insurance to New York’s 2.6 million uninsured. In May, Daines and Dinallo are expected to give Spitzer a plan outlining the “building blocks” for universal health care in New York.

While Spitzer’s administration favors the incremental approach, officials said it doesn’t mean the final result won’t be radical.

Well, let’s hope. The Clinton effort to make health care universal went down in flames thirteen years ago, thanks to Harry, Louise, and a guy named Bob Dole. That means we’ve been in “incremental mode” for well over a decade.

How do you like the results of America’s incremental approach so far?

“We are committed to working toward universal coverage,” Daines said, but he warned that inserting universal care into an already broken system is not a good idea. Insurance reform must be accompanied by health care reform that focuses on quality and outcomes, he said.

“You can get to a single-payer system in an incremental way,” Baker noted.

Yes, and you can get pigs to fly through evolution, I suppose.


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