morici– Peter Morici is a professor at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland School, and the former Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission. The views expressed are his own. –

Healthcare reform is in trouble, because President Obama and congressional leaders are not adequately addressing issues that trouble many Americans.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius caution Americans to ignore terrorist claims about death panels. Reasonable enough—unseemly critics on both the right and the left seek to stir up unwarranted hysteria.

Sebelius defends end of life counseling from physicians as a benefit families need when facing difficult treatment choices for elderly relatives. However, what worries people is such counseling in the context of government rationing.

All health insurers ration care—private insurers in the United States and government-run health services in Canada and Europe face tough choices and limited resources. U.S private insurers generally don’t deny or delay critical care that could cause death—officials implementing such a policy would land in jail.