I've been reading all the rants about this, and this isn't any attempt to analyze the issues and cite sources. This is just my personal opinion on the situation.
First, I agree with my blogger friend Linkmeister, who commented in a post today that the Republican party has now made its position clear. They aren't interested in health care reform. They are only interested in defeating whatever President Obama tries to do. This being the case, the hell with bi-partisanship.
Second, I've thought about this a lot, and I'm convinced that we will never get health care costs under control until we separate health care from capitalism. Health care isn't something you should plan to get rich at. It's a service that should be provided to everyone, like fire and police protection. (Okay, in Oakland, California, "police protection" as a service provided to everyone is kind of a touchy subject. But my point stands on the "should.") The profit motive in health care is what's driving costs inexorably upward, and we won't get costs under control until we come to a common agreement that for-profit health care is a Bad Thing. It's the defense of the Bottom Line that causes companies to cancel people's coverage the minute they come down with something that will be really expensive to treat, like cancer.
Yes, this means I want a "public option." Actually, I don't - I want single payer. So far, the Repubs have managed to shove that off the table. Maybe, now they've made their position clear, we can bring it back; since they aren't going to agree to anything anyway, we can ignore the fact that they don't like it.
But there's one more thing we have to do to make this work: we have to reform medical education. Becoming a doctor is fiendishly expensive; people come out of their training fully qualified and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. That training has to be subsidized, as part of the subsidy for medical care itself, or no one will go into medicine. This is just part of providing the service. Hopefully such reforms will attract people who want to provide health care, instead of people who want to become filthy rich doing specialties like cosmetic surgery and neurology. I have nothing against either cosmetic surgery or neurologists, I use the specialties as a general example; I am aware of a shortage of general practitioners, because it's so hard to pay off your medical school debts on a GP's income that everyone wants to get into the high-stakes specialties.
And this is personal. I'm in favor of single payer (or at least a "public option") because I expect to need it. Right now my access to health care depends on my husband's employer; I have a fall-back position at my own former employer. I have no faith that either of those companies will continue to support health care for retirees. I really think we need to separate health care from employment, and if that means taxing employer-provided health care, then let's tax it.
I'm hearing a general consensus on several critical points: everybody should be have health insurance; nobody should be refused coverage because of a pre-existing condition; nobody's coverage should be dropped just because they got sick. The only thing we're still arguing about is "socialized medicine," AKA "how do we pay for this?"
People have been bitching about this for fifty years, for Crissakes; I remember the screams of "socialized medicine" in the '60s when Medicare was passed. We're now in the 21st century, and most of the major industrialized countries have universal coverage, and none of them is Socialist. (You really think Canada or Great Britain are Socialist?? You don't know what "socialist" means.) And they all look at us and shake their heads and say, "Crazy Americans." Can we please get on the train that everyone else is on, and start figuring out how to control the costs??