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Daschle meets the boys and talks healthcare reform.

Posted Jan 11 2009 4:59pm
T he scepter in Washington hasn’t even been passed on to the new administration and already it is plain to see that healthcare reform is going to be an uphill battle. Tom Daschle who met with legislators late this past week on Thursday began outlining the administration’s plans for fixing/improving the nation’s current plan of healthcare delivery. After reading through the transcripts of the meeting it was clear that the issues surrounding healthcare reform in the U.S. were already becoming polarized.

There were several periods of what I would call wasted people’s time with the obligatory opening prose and congratulatory comments, thanks for being here, and we have a great group of people working on this issue. In one of the opening remarks from Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming he stated that he believed our current healthcare system was “broken”. Rather an astute observation from the senator.

Daschle’s remarks stated that “the flaws in our health system are pervasive and corrosive”. He went on to site some statistics regarding the numbers of uninsured have dramatically increased from 1994 – 37 million to 46 million today. Daschle goes further to say that in 1987 $1 of every $15 was spent on healthcare. Today it is $1 out of $6. He went on to speak about the community meetings he and his team are having across the country, speaking with “everyday” folks and their concerns about healthcare.

At the end of the day not a lot of substance was discussed in this initial hearing. I would even go so far as to say Daschle didn’t even lay out any broad brush strokes as to how the Obama administration is going to mitigate today’s healthcare issues. The content was basically a confirmation that healthcare in the U.S. is not working the way it was envisioned, the cost of healthcare is dangerously concerning, and something needs to be done. Where would we all be without the insight?

Clearly there will be lots of legislators wanting do things to improve healthcare as Daschle climbs on board the health train. In the beginning the plan will be tooted as great, until the bill comes in for paying for it. Then the red pen will come out and the list will get whittled away and the fighting will begin. Good old American political partisanship will take over and the focus will shift away from helping out the average family of four to gaining some sort of political leverage inside the beltway. The first thing that legislators have to agree on is the focus of improving our current healthcare system is to provide the best quality care we can with the best possible access to it. Healthcare reform needs to be about the people not the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies, and not about rationing care based on costs.
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