Friday, November 7, 2008

Post Election: Health Care and The Obama Administration

President-Elect Barack Obama will be taking the reigns on January 20, 2009. He takes office amidst a veritable hailstorm of crises: the financial meltdown, the housing meltdown, the wars, and, according to voters, health care.

Rebecca Ruiz over at Forbes brings us a recap of Obama's plans along with an examination of what the next steps will be and what direct effect we will experience. In one of the first of what will no doubt become an endless stream of speculation between now and January 20, she explores the pros, cons, and unknowns of the subject.

One particularly telling quote in her article comes from John Sheils, senior vice president of the Lewin Group, a health care policy research company in Falls Church, VA:

Sheils' analysis found that Obama's plan would decrease the number of uninsured by 26.6 million beginning in 2010. The estimated federal cost of enacting the plan is $1.17 trillion from 2010 through 2019. By 2010, annual spending on health care is expected to reach $2.7 trillion. But Obama's plan is expected to cut spending by $54.1 billion in the next decade. The savings are important, but regardless, the price tag is staggering.

Another thing that Sheils notes is that one crucial flaw remains unaddressed, a crucial flaw that George C. Halvorson has expounded upon in his most recent book: incentives. Currently, incentives in the health care industry are geared towards care services and procedures performed instead of being based on actual health results.

This article is particularly advised reading, especially for its last few paragraphs where Ms. Ruiz looks at the potential interactions on this subject once Obama is sworn in and the discussion moves to the floor of Congress.

On the whole, it seems like there is positive news in the wind.

SOURCE: "What Obama's Health Care Plan Means For You" 11/05/08
photo courtesy of realjameso16, used under its Creative Commons license

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