Americans are ready for health care reform. The New York Times/CBS News poll that was reported last weekend indicates broad-based enthusiasm for a new financing mechanism.

Within the findings are various nuances. For instances, those polled are skeptical of higher government involvement. But broadly speaking, most are willing to pay higher taxes so everyone will have insurance.

President Obama is carefully pushing this cause forward. Most recently, he spent one hour speaking to the American Medical Association. For that, he received boos as well as cheers. It must be remembered that the AMA opposed Medicare to the bitter end. Moreover, these days the AMA represents only one-third of American physicians.

The president is putting the responsibility on Congress to come up with a piece of legislation. That is wise, and it makes sense.

All of this gives special meaning to the Healthy Americans Act crafted by Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and Utah Sen. Bob Bennett. There are at least two major reasons we need a new health care plan. The level of uninsured Americans is unconscionable. Secondly, businesses need a measure of relief from a burden they have been carrying for decades. Health care expenses often determine whether certain businesses are profitable.

The time is now.

- The Daily Astorian

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