I woke the other day to NPR to hear Republican senator Orrin Hatch saying “To be clear, it is a disgrace that so many American families go without health insurance coverage.” I was nearly ecstatic; to agree that something is a problem is the first step to getting together to solve it. And, surely, that something is “a disgrace” is even worse than being a problem. I turned up the radio to find out how Sen. Hatch and the Republicans were going to solve it. Unfortunately, that was not to be. It was a sound bite in a story by Julie Rovner titled “GOP Says Coverage For The Uninsured Is No Longer The Priority” (July 27, 2012). I hadn’t known it ever was a priority for the GOP, but this piece laid any doubts to rest. Worse than the double-talk from Hatch was Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, in this excerpt:
We will still have a shortage of doctors until the pipeline fills, but such a system will decrease the financial impetus to be yet another subspecialist in a metropolitan area that already has enough, and increase the impetus to become a generalist in an underserved area. If we are to depend on the market, this is the kind of market-based approach we need.