Friday, October 10, 2008

Dateline Nashville: Frist Moderates Panel on Health Care Reform

Nashville has been hopping lately -- as far as health care goes, that is. The Nashville Health Care Council hosted a high powered panel discussion about the state of American health care and the potential reform platforms of the Presidential candidates. Bill Frist, former U.S. Senator and Cressey Co. partner, acted as the moderator for the four-person panel which included the following luminaries:

  • Chris Jennings, former senior health care adviser to then President Bill Clinton
  • Chip Kahn, President of the Federation of American Hospitals
  • Dick Morris, former Clinton adviser and current Fox News contributor
  • John Podesta, Chief of Staff for Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2001
Walker Duncan of The Nashville City Paper reports on the proceedings:
Dick Morris got the discussion underway with a particularly sunny outlook, opining that the next president will “have a job much like a trustee in a bankruptcy.” He continued saying that while the political will may be there, that the “money for health care reform went out the door last week,” referring to the recently passed bailout solution.

Others disagreed with that take, saying some change could be effected even in light of the current financial crisis. Jennings made a handful of points addressing the issue, pointing to the strong demand from the business community, to the awareness that despite our huge health care spending we’re not getting an equal amount of value, and to the fact that any sort of economic reform is going to have to include health care as a factor.

Essentially, according to his argument, the need for change is both too great and too apparent for no progress to be made.
Duncan does a great job of providing a synopsis of the entire panel, covering issues such as time frame to reform in the face of the economic crisis, current and revised potential for universal coverage, and predictions for the next two years facing us.

All in all, it is a very interesting insight into the situation from a new group of voices. Experts abound, and I am sure we will be hearing from all of them over the next few short weeks before election day.

SOURCE: " Panelists, Frist attempt to tackle health care reform" 10/08/08
photo courtesy of Exothermic Photography, used under its Creative Commons license

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