Friday, December 5, 2008
The Wall Street Journal reports today that health reform is still alive - even as we see the economy worsen. Laura Meckler writes,
Former Sen. Tom Daschle, who is slated to oversee health-care policy in the Obama administration, is kicking off the effort to pass a comprehensive health-care plan. In a speech to be delivered Friday in Denver, Mr. Daschle will say, "The president-elect made health-care reform one of his top priorities of his campaign, and I am here to tell you that his commitment to changing the health-care system remains strong and focused."
Mr. Daschle will emphasize the importance of moving forward even amid the economic crisis, noting that rising health-care costs put more pressure on businesses and must be addressed. The speech does not lay out any specific timetables for action on health care by the Obama administration.
Mr. Daschle, who Obama transition officials say will be nominated secretary of Health and Human Services, will suggest that Americans hold holiday-season house parties to brainstorm over how best to overhaul the U.S. health-care system. He will promise to drop by one such party himself, and to take the ideas generated to President-elect Barack Obama. . . .
"There is no question that the economic health of this country is directly related to our ability to reform our health-care system," Mr. Daschle will say in his prepared remarks. The former Senate majority leader will be speaking as head of the Obama health-care transition team, because his nomination to head HHS has not yet been announced. . . .
Already, the Obama transition office has posted two health-care videos on its Web site, www.change.gov, and it is soliciting comments and ideas from people via the site. So far, it has received more than 10,000 comments, according to Mr. Daschle's prepared remarks. Those who want to host health-care parties are asked to sign up on the site.
For a terrific overview of some of the competing health care reform proposals, see this post from DemFromCt at DailyKos.