HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Caution on Health Care Reform

Former Congressman Richard Gephardt provides some thoughts about health care reform in a New York Times article by John Harwood who writes,

Now Mr. Gephardt says universal or near-universal coverage cannot pass this year — and he is urging the White House to defer that goal until it enacts cost-saving reforms in health care delivery. Otherwise, he argues, the new president risks the same losing argument about paying for expanded coverage that stymied President Bill Clinton 15 years ago.

Leading Democrats have balked at Mr. Obama’s initial financing idea, curbing tax deductions for high-income Americans. Republicans have attacked another alternative, taxing employer-provided health benefits, since Mr. Obama criticized a proposal to do that last fall by Senator John McCain of Arizona.

“I feel so much now like déjà vu all over again,” said Mr. Gephardt, who now lobbies for corporate America on issues including health care. Universal coverage “is absolutely imperative, and it needs to be dealt with. But the way to get to it is to show that we can deal with some of these problems first.” . . .

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