09/23/10 — So it begins ... Today is the first day of health care reform

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So it begins ... Today is the first day of health care reform

The hardest  -- and the most expensive -- parts of the health care reform legislation are still ahead.

Wait until 2013 and beyond before you decide whether change was worth the price you will have paid.

But today was the first official day of some of the changes prescribed in the health care reform law. Among them, the new rule allowing parents to keep their children on their health insurance plans until they are 26.

In theory, this example sounds like a good idea. After all, how can you be suspicious of any bit of legislation that gives young people the opportunity to have health insurance? The problem is, it is just another example of an expense that will be passed on to companies and could keep people out of work.

Health care costs are already high -- and fear about the consequences of health care reform is making them even higher. That's why reform -- albeit a good idea in theory -- has to be so carefully thought through before it is implemented.

Mandatory anything has huge costs associated with it because of the number of people who will not be able to manage covering the costs themselves. That means taxpayers will foot the bill.

And already, there are some who are saying that the cost of doing business just might be a little too high to make the provisions in the law a help rather than a hindrance to economic growth.

So it begins -- the first real steps into the new health care system. We need to watch closely to see if the promises match the reality.

Published in Editorials on September 23, 2010 10:43 AM