Obama expected to fulfill healthcare reform promises
In the Wall Street Journal (1/20) Health Blog, Sarah Rubenstein wrote that "during President Obama's inaugural address to the nation," he mentioned healthcare twice. First, there "was an acknowledgement of the expense of healthcare in a long list of woes the nation faces." She quotes Obama as saying, "Our healthcare is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet." Then, when he discussed "how the U.S. can 'lay a new foundation for growth,'" Obama stated, "We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise healthcare's quality and lower its costs."
HealthDay (1/20, Pallarito) reported, "Early indications now suggest that, despite an ailing economy — or perhaps because of it," President Barack Obama "is resolved to keep his promise" to reform healthcare. He was praised for "his nomination of former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services," who "is thought to have a solid grasp of health policy." In addition, Obama has crafted "an economic stimulus plan that positions healthcare as a cornerstone of financial growth and recovery." He has proposed "allowing Americans who can't get insurance through employer plans or Medicaid/SCHIP to purchase insurance through a national health insurance exchange," and "to expand eligibility under Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)." In addition, last week, the House "voted to reauthorize and expand SCHIP."
"Reform advocates have largely fallen in line with Obama's call for a health system overhaul, based on the use of electronic health records, new and expanded government programs and payment reform," Modern Healthcare (1/21, DoBias) adds. And, Congress is expected to approve "about $100 billion in healthcare funding, the lion's share going to a boost in the federal government's share of Medicaid" as part of the stimulus package.