The relevance of it might be implied from the comments today at Obama's "Fiscal Responsibility Summit," when top Obama economic advisor, Peter Orzag, claimed that the road to responsibility was through the health industry. It will make considerable difference who the legislators listen to in shaping these policies.
The NYTimes reported the other day (Feb 20), that the decision has pretty much been made: Mandatory Insurance.
February 20, 2009I wonder if Billy Tauzin or Tom Daschle were in the room, donchew?
By ROBERT PEAR
WASHINGTON — Since last fall, many of the leading figures in the nation’s long-running health care debate have been meeting secretly in a Senate hearing room. Now, with the blessing of the Senate’s leading proponent of universal health insurance, Edward M. Kennedy, they appear to be inching toward a consensus that could reshape the debate.
Many of the parties, from big insurance companies to lobbyists for consumers, doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, are embracing the idea that comprehensive health care legislation should include a requirement that every American carry insurance.
While not all industry groups are in complete agreement, there is enough of a consensus, according to people who have attended the meetings, that they have begun to tackle the next steps: how to enforce the requirement for everyone to have health insurance; how to make insurance affordable to the uninsured; and whether to require employers to help buy coverage for their employees.
The talks, which are taking place behind closed doors, are unusual. Lobbyists for a wide range of interest groups — some of which were involved in defeating national health legislation in 1993-4 — are meeting with the staff of Mr. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, in a search for common ground.
N-CHEAT* = "Nobody Could Have EVER Anticipated This!"