Nevertheless, he cannot really celebrate the reform that he promised for so long. Since his campaign, Obama has provided two primary justifications for universal health care. First, was the moral necessity to eliminate the existential risks posed by illness or injury to more than 40 million Americans without coverage. The second justification was an economic one -- rising health care costs, so goes the argument, must be brought under control in order to reduce stress on the U.S. budget.
The first promise has been fulfilled -- the new legislation demonstrates solidarity with those unable to afford health coverage and with those who were refused insurance. The second promise, however, has been postponed. The reform bill only half-heartedly addresses the reduction of health care costs and those measures aimed at savings can easily be skirted. Insurance companies will get millions of new customers, but no real competition. Their shares are currently skyrocketing -- they are the true winners of US health care reform.