When it comes to healthcare reform, I think the software production model is a useful analogue. A buggy product was rushed to market within a short time frame. Perhaps for defensible reasons and perhaps not. Doesn't matter.
What we now have is something that meets some needs, solves some problems. Like access. And does nothing about others. Especially cost. Because our politics is characterized by the bipolarism of the Democrats and Republicans, the debate is being framed in terms of whether or not to reject it as is.
I don't ultimately care which we do, only that we find ways to manage access and cost. In other words, as long as the next result is better for regular folks. But we all know that any "from scratch" effort
• Will face all the same problems the last one did, and
• can't begin in earnest until the current reform is repealed, which cannot happen until 2013 at the earliestSo, if congress really wants to work now on making our healthcare system better, what they should really do is work on an Obamacare Beta that finds patches to the bugs found by customers and accountants and so on. If Republicans were willing to fake this tack, they should ask in return that Democrats concede that existing law does nothing substantive to control costs.