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In healthcare reform, no deficit cure

Washington Post, November 30, 2009

Experts remain deeply divided over whether healthcare legislation would rein in soaring healthcare costs or simply add millions of people to a system that is already driving the nation toward bankruptcy, the Washington Post reports. Optimists say the $848 billion package drafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-NV) contains promising ideas for transforming the healthcare system and encouraging doctors and hospitals to work more efficiently. They say it would eventually reduce both private premiums and the swelling cost of government healthcare for the elderly and poor. But opponents see scant evidence that those ideas would quickly bear fruit, and in the short term they fear that the initiative would leave Washington struggling to pay for a new $200 billion-a-year health program even as existing programs require vast infusions of cash to care for the aging population, the Post reports.