WASHINGTON -- 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.
The parties are part of an effort by the new administration to apply organizing tools from the presidential campaign to the more-complex task of governing. "What's next for our Health Care Team? You are," Mr. Daschle will say at the 2008 Colorado Health Care Summit, an event organized by Sen. Ken Salazar (D., Colo.). Mr. Daschle's comments will be the first public discussion by the Obama team on health care since Election Day. He will emphasize that changes to the health-care system must include expanding insurance coverage, as well as reducing costs and improving quality.
During the campaign, Mr. Obama called for a national insurance marketplace where consumers can buy health-care coverage from private companies or from a new government-run plan, with subsidies to be provided to people based on their income levels. He suggested that large companies be required to offer insurance or pay into a fund, and proposed tax credits to entice small businesses to offer workers insurance. His plan also proposed a variety of ideas to improve health-care quality and reduce costs. But many details have yet to be filled in, and congressional Democrats are working on those issues now. In the meantime, Mr. Daschle will say the Obama administration wants input from supporters -- as a way of getting average Americans to feel connected to the process and invested in its success. At some point, the administration may seek to mobilize supporters to lobby Congress or otherwise build support for a plan.
4. Why Shouldn't They? It Worked So Well For Them in 1994
Of course the Repiggies are going to throw everything including the kitchen sink at us over this. The insurance and health care industries will spend billions to defeat this (and us). That's how they were able to take over both houses of Congress in 1994.
3. What, precisely, does Obama plan to do to improve health care accessibility.
All I heard was that he was going to put all our medical information into computer databases. I also heard something vague about preventing the very ill from having to fight with their insurance companies. I understood the Kucinich, Edwards and Clinton proposals on health care very well, but I never understood Obama's. Could someone please explain this.
9. But what is he going to tell them to do? Doesn't he have a plan
beyond no exclusions for pre-existing conditions and computerizing medical data? Those are the only really clear-cut ideas I have heard from him on health care. Oh, yes, and he's going to make it affordable -- but how? Hillary, Edwards and Kucinich all had very clear statements about precisely what changes they would recommend in the area of healthcare. Obama has always been very vague about it. Does anyone know any more than his vague promises?
6. One very important thing that he has said time-and-time again...
Is that it will become illegal for insurances to deny someone insurance coverage for a "pre-existing condition" and/or to charge them extra for coverage. I'd say that's pretty substantial. It was vital to what Edwards and Clinton said as well.
I really hope they can drum up the bravery to put an end to the abject misery the health insurance companies have been putting people through.
The idea that they could just get away with what they have...it just makes me sick. I think now is the time to act if there was any time at all....good time to get out the addresses of your senators and representatives.
8. "Moving foreward on HealthCare" can mean different things.
There will be a strong movement from Republicans and Conservative Democrats ("Centrists") to channel taxpayer money into the pockets of the "For Profit" Insurance Corporations. This would NOT be a step forward, but a huge step backward that only legitimizes and codifies the For Profit Health Insurance Industry.
This will be a deal breaker for me, and should be opposed by everyone who Works for a Living. If subsidies for the poor/working poor are necessary, it should be mandatory that they enroll in the government system.
Beware of the soft sell from the CorpoDems. It will sound like this: "We need to get something working today, and this is the best compromise. We will go back and fix it later"
They will be lying. (again)
The Democratic Party is a BIG TENT, but there is NO ROOM for those who advance the agenda of THE RICH (Corporate Owners) at the EXPENSE of LABOR and the POOR.
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