Experts Say Obama Should Pursue Ambitious Health Reform Agenda

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<p>Leaders in health care and health care policy feel strongly that, as president, Barack Obama should pursue an ambitious health care reform agenda that expands coverage while also improving quality and efficiency and controlling costs. In fact, two-thirds of those surveyed in the latest <a href="/publications/data-briefs/2009/jan/health-care-opinion-leaders-views-on-priorities-for-the-obama-administration
">Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey</a> said that the new administration should pursue these goals simultaneously.<br><br>When asked which features were important to act on immediately, 83 percent said expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) was absolutely essential or very important. Investment in health information technology in the economic stimulus package and access to public health insurance coverage for the long-term unemployed were also seen as crucial.<br><br>Overall, there was wide agreement that the new president and his team must move ahead with health care reforms. "The election of the new administration and Congress has opened up a historic opportunity for health care reform--one that could finally give Americans the health security they need and deserve," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. "Health care opinion leaders agree that focusing on the right policies and priorities can really put the U.S. on the path to a high performance health care system."<br><br>Respondents to the survey include a diverse group of health care experts representing academia, health care delivery, health insurance and other health industries, business, government, labor, and advocacy.<br><br>Also read commentaries on the survey results from <a href="/publications/commentaries/2009/jan/road-to-reform
">Montana Senator Max Baucus</a> and <a href="/publications/commentaries/2009/jan/the-minnesota-way
">Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.</a></p>