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  • Lasting Health Reforms Requires Consensus

    With Congress and President Barack Obama ramping up their health care reform rhetoric this week, it seems all of the major players in the health policy arena are weighing how likely meaningful health care reform will pass and be doable for Americans and the private health care system.

    One theme everyone seems to be in agreement with is that any health care legislation must have broad support to actually pass and be implemented. “If Congress wants long-lasting health care reform, they’ll need broad consensus on what that is,” Heritage’s Nina Owcharenko said at a health care briefing on Capitol Hill earlier this week.

    Broad consensus means forgoing some of the more contentious health policy components that threaten to dissolve health reform efforts — much like what happened during the Clinton health reform efforts in 1993 — Owcharenko noted. The Health Policy Consensus Group, a coalition of free-market think tanks of which Heritage is a member, already has identified deal breakers that consumers should be aware of during the health care debates. Those include:
    A government-run health insurance plan
    • Mandates on businesses or individuals to buy health insurance
    Government-defined benefits packages
    • Any national health insurance exchange that would expand federal regulatory powers over private insurance
    Washington gaining more decision making power

    Former Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt and former Sen. Tom Daschle (who was the first pick for the current administration’s HHS Secretary before tax issues brought down his nomination) also noted the importance of a bipartisan health reform bill yesterday during a friendly verbal spar at the National Press Club.

    “I believe there is only a 50-50 chance that something will pass,” said Daschle, who has pushed for policymakers to adopt a public health plan, Federal Health Board and “evidence-based” medicine processes like comparative effectiveness research.

    Leavitt followed up that he was more certain “something will pass. But the question is what [kind of health reform design] will [the legislation] be?” He warned the audience that reform components like a public health insurance plan would lead the largely private health industry into a government-run health system.

    Instead, Leavitt highlighted broad health reform ideas that mirrored those made by the Health Policy Consensus Group:
    • Preserve the innovative and high-quality initiatives in the private health care system
    • Changes must be done, but through innovative ways that don’t include more central decision making power for D.C. bureaucrats
    • Empower patients and doctors to make better health care decisions on their own for the long term

    “The only way we will ever make the hard decisions we need to make in health reform is to create an environment where consumers can make these decisions and start that change. Government can organize that marketplace where decisions are made, but it should not own the health care system,” Leavitt said.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Lasting Health Reforms Requires Consensus

    1. John Teal , Reiaters says:

      I agree , and hope that washington will not own it. i am now 60 yrs old , out of a job now for 4 months and no coverage . I also have a wife disabled with no income also . it sounds great to have coverage for both of us , but even me at this time I dont think its good for america. I want to see something done that will improve health care for all americans , but affortable for the average family. Lets overhaul med/care and med / cade and make it honest. I truly hope congress takes its time , and do this the right way . right now we are just trying to hold onto our home , I hope I have a job soon ….thanks

    2. Pingback: Lasting Health Reforms Requires Consensus » The Foundry | Health

    3. Craig Ledbetter, Red says:

      Mike Leavitt and the Health Policy Consensus Group have it right. Unless we want health care quality equivalent to what Canada and the UK suffer, we must avoid giving the Federal Government more decision-making power. To enter the UK market the software company I work for had to create a "Waiting List" application for our Electronic Medical Record software suite. If that does not say it all, you are not listening.

    4. Bart, California says:

      I agree with the gist of this article. But this also means moving away from some of the unnecessarily extreme aspects of the Republican proposals as well. I'd like to see them adopt the logical intersection of the two parties' views– think the little sliver where the two circles on a Venn diagram overlap– and set aside any more ambitious and more partisan ideas for now. Once the obvious is nailed down, then the partisan bickering can resume.

    5. Carolyn Troiano, Che says:

      My name is Carolyn Troiano, and I need help going after Obama for a major Free Speech violation. He is violating my First Amendment right to free speech by trying to prevent me from voicing my opinions on a tax-deductible contribution supported internet site.

      If you go to My.BarackObama.com, a website funded by tax-deductible money, you will see how they’ve set up tools and other resources to help people push the Obama agenda forward – the topic du jour is healthcare reform. People are told to create and attend events that are supportive of Obama. This is how they stole the election.

      So to turn the tables, I went on the site and created my own event, a “GIGANTIC TEA PARTY” up on Long Island in my hometown of Merrick.

      I set this up as a “Take Back Our America” event, and spread the WEALTH (Watch Every American Learn about Healthcare reform) like the Tea Parties of late, and included posted a call for all like-minded citizens to join me. All of the information is at my website:


      The Obama webmaster responded by email saying my words were disrespectful, and that they had taken my event off the website.

      The warning stated that this was a one-time warning, and if I did this again, I would have my access to the website taken away.

      So what’s a girl to do? Create another event. This time it’s in Chesterfield, VA, this coming Saturday, June 20th, at my home or in spirit with me, and I made sure there is room for 1 billion people, in case those disgruntled Iranian voters want to revolt and join our cause too.

      I led the charge to taking back America with a simple statement to the President –

      “Mr. Obama, tear down that firewall!”

      That’s my motto, and I’m taking this as far as I possibly can. Ronald Reagan must be turning over in his grave!

      I’m seeking your help to give some visibility to this fight and let the Obama dictatorship know we will not stand idly by while our own tax dollars continue to be squandered on his Socialist agenda.

      So let me know if you can help, and if you have any suggestions for ramping this up and getting all Americans to understand what’s going on here. Most have no clue.

      Thanks for your time and attention!


      Carolyn (McKillop) Troiano

      13613 Blue Heron Circle

      Chesterfield, VA 23838

      804-590-0055 (H)




    6. Pingback: Lasting Health Reforms Requires Consensus | Health and Energy

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