President-Elect Obama, and about every candidate for Congress, has said he wants to change the partisan tone in Washington. Obama, the Democratic Congressional leadership, and the Republicans have a terrific opportunity to do just that on health care when they all come to Washington early next year.
As I posted earlier, I do not believe there is any chance we can see the enactment of the comprehensive Obama health plan in the near term.
But there are a number of important steps that can be taken next year and each of them have enjoyed strong bipartisan support during the past year:
We know the name of the 44th President of the United States: Barack Obama. As the next President’s supporter Oprah Winfrey is known to ask, "What do you know for sure?" When it comes to health, there are a few things we know about a President Obama.
First and foremost, addressing challenges in U.S. health care will require a multi-pronged strategy which brings stakeholders together. The key health-aches to address will be:
- Covering the uninsured
- Stemming rising health care costs
- Wiring the health information infrastructure and getting electronic health records into medical practice
- Funding what works, and de-funding what doesn’t
- Ensuring an innovative health discovery and commercialization environment.
This is not a one-man job, and Senator Obama knows that. He has surrounded himself with a cadre of experts who understand these Big Hairy Health Issues and are on the forefront of solutions. He has, thus far, made smart choices in his campaign staff and advisers. This is the concept known as "judgement."