The "Promise" Of Health Care Reform and Obama's new Cabinet

Sloane Miller Health Guide
  • Over 45 million Americans are without health insurance. Forty-five million people: that's larger than many countries' entire populations.


    Our President-elect Barack Obama is committed to securing "affordable, accessible health care for every single American" reports the New York Times. From the Obama/Biden website:


    The Obama-Biden plan both builds on and improves our current insurance system, which most Americans continue to rely upon, and leaves Medicare intact for older and disabled Americans. Under the Obama-Biden plan, Americans will be able to maintain their current coverage, have access to new affordable options, and see the quality of their health care improve and their costs go down. The Obama-Biden plan provides new affordable health insurance options by:

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    (1) guaranteeing eligibility for all health insurance plans

    (2) creating a National Health Insurance Exchange to help Americans and businesses purchase private health insurance

    (3) providing new tax credits to families who can't afford health insurance and to small businesses with a new Small Business Health Tax Credit

    (4) requiring all large employers to contribute towards health coverage for their employees or towards the cost of the public plan

    (5) requiring all children have health care coverage

    (6) expanding eligibility for the Medicaid and SCHIP programs

    (7) allowing flexibility for state health reform plans.


    Those are some might purty words but how is all of this going to happen? How are these changes going to be made now during the worst economic crisis of the last three generations? How is this going to be any different than when the Clintons tried to push for universal health care coverage in the early 1990s and failed?


    The first step the Obama team has made is to appoint a "health and human services secretary": former senator from South Dakota, Tom Daschle.

    And his big idea? From Daschle's book, he proposes to create a "... Fed-like health board would offer a public framework within which a private health-care system can operate more effectively and efficiently-insulated from political pressure yet accountable to elected officials and the American people."


    Do we need to create more government bodies to oversee this health care crisis?



Published On: December 31, 2008