The Audacity of Reforming Health Care

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The Audacity of Reforming Health Care

Kay Steiger

Kathleen Sebelius, Hillary Clinton, and Deval Patrick all called for comprehensive health care reform at the DNC this morning.

This morning Families USA and the SEIU hosted a forum on health
care. The objective was to put health care reform at the top of the
priority list for the next administration. Governor Kathleen Sebelius
spoke about the importance of keeping health care at the top of the
agenda. Health care is unique, she said, in that "if you use the product you’re
buying then you’re a bad customer."

But as important as prioritizing health care in Congress and at the
level of the White House is, it’s equally important to elect governors
that prioritize health care, she said. The governors, who she called
the "ground troops" of the health care battle, are the ones
implementing any kind of reform that would come through Congress and be
signed by the president.

We’ve seen a number of states, like Massachusetts, take on reforming
health care. Deval Patrick, the governor of the state, noted at the
forum that the bi-partisan health care reform passed in Massachusetts
they had already cut the number of uninsured by 75 percent.

Finally, they ended the speech with an appearance from Sen. Hillary
Clinton. She touched on a number of the same themes she did last night,
again noting that any health care reform should include a mandate to
cover all Americans. "We don’t have an option of doing nothing,"
Clinton noted, indicating that the costs of health care are much higher
than they were in 1994, when her husband attempted to pass health care

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Still, as much as Clinton has emphasized that a mandate is
non-negotiable and that it’s the only way to effectively control costs,
she also noted that she might be open to negotiation. "We have let the
perfect be the enemy of the good for too long," she said.