Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Next Week: Health Care

In its first month, the Obama Administration has been on a Crisis-of-the-Week schedule--economic stimulus last week, mortgage bailouts now and apparently health care next week as the President prepares to name Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas to be Secretary of Health and Human Services and to highlight health care in his prime-time speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night,

After the Daschle fiasco, the President is turning to a staunch supporter who served eight years as her state’s insurance commissioner before becoming governor six years ago in a very red state and whose bipartisan credentials include Republicans as her running mates in winning two elections.

The vetting process, it's safe to say, will be intense but, at the rate that crises are coming at him, Barack Obama is easily on track to become the most activist new president in US history since FDR.

Somewhere in the crowded schedule will be saving Detroit, but that may not rate a full week.

1 comment:

LazySusan said...

I like the HCFA plan because I think it's a good transition to public healthcare. The plan is called Health Care for America, it’s a proposal put together by the political scientist Jacob Hacker with the support of the Economic Policy Institute. I’d suggest reading Thinking Big to get a better idea of the plan, but the basic idea is that employers pay money into a public fund, enough to cover their workers. The public fund should have quality coverage for all, including preventive care. Workers get to choose - keep your insurance, choose a different private plan, or join a public health insurance plan without a private insurer middleman, pick your healthcare providers and doctors. Employers choose too. Those who prefer not to shoulder the burden of providing coverage as good as the law requires can decide to enroll their workers in the public plan at a modest cost. HCFA and Medicare would function as a single nationwide insurance pool covering close to half the population. So basically either the public plan attracts most Americans, and our system gradually evolves into single-payer or because the floor prevents a race to the bottom, the public-private competition raises the bar on care and efficiency, improving quality and cutting costs, even in the private insurance plans. The standards would be kept by a strong government watchdog.