Raising Women’s Voices

Health reform talk

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on June 3, 2009

“Inclusive, collaborative but with long-term objectives in mind”: the Obama strategy for health care reform

Sam Stein from the Huffington Post wrote an article previewing the expected larger article in the New York Times Magazine out on Sunday. He overviews the complexity of Washington and how the Obama administration has gone about setting the stage for a communicative attempt at health care reform. From aides to chiefs of staff, there is quite a bit of overlap between the Hill and the White House, hopefully enough to avoid the Clinton-era mistake of closed doors and non-collaboration. We’ll see, I suppose.

President sets timetable, expresses willingness to consider taxing benefits, and conveys urgency

Yesterday the New York Times reported on the meeting in the White House on Tuesday between Barack Obama and a group of high-level Democratic senators. The President came out in support of the government-sponsored public option in health reform, but recognized the chances this would discourage Republican support. The President also reaffirmed his timeline – asking for a comprehensive bill from Congress by October of this year. Unfortunately, the President also stated he “might consider” taxing employer-provided health benefits. The inclusion of this funding option is strongly opposed by labor unions and many employers. However, the administration seems to think this may be one of the only ways to fund an expansion of coverage. From a related article in the Washington Post:

“”The president made it clear during the campaign that he has serious concerns about taxing health-care benefits, and he has introduced his own revenue proposal, which he reiterated in today’s meeting,” spokesman Reid Cherlin said.”


Skeptics about the short time table for health care reform

The Wall Street Journal today published an article clearly unimpressed with the accelerated time table that President Obama and ranking members of congress have set for health care reform…

“It’s not hard to see why Democrats are trying to hew to this full-speed-ahead timetable. Their health overhaul will run up a 13-figure price tag at a time when spending and deficits are already at epic levels and hook up the middle class to an intravenous drip of government health subsidies for generations to come. These are not realities that Democrats want the American people to mull over for very long.”

Read this and other opinion articles here.

This is clearly not going to be easy, and can it be successful?

CQ Politics published an article today about the importance and the difficulties of health care reform. How are we going to offer universal coverage and save money? There are clear party lines on this issue, and it looks like the debate will get worse before it gets better.

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