Health Reform in a New Era: Options for the Obama Administration

eAlert 648e1fa1-001e-46fa-8135-2e5c180717da

<p>After a long campaign season, and in the middle of an economic crisis, the American public has elected a new president and the 111th Congress. President-elect Obama and Congress will be juggling many competing priorities in 2009, including a historic window of opportunity for health reform.<br><br>In a <a href="/aboutus/aboutus_show.htm?doc_id=725757">new column</a>, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis outlines several possible courses of action on health reform for the Obama administration, including: deferring legislative action while pursuing administrative changes; making a "down payment" on health reform, with the promise of more action to come; funding select states to test alternative approaches; initiating incremental steps in the context of a long-range vision; developing single legislative package with sequenced phases; and taking early action on comprehensive reform.<br><br>"Windows of opportunity for real health reform do not stay open for long," Davis says. "While the challenge is daunting and the stakes are high, it is imperative that our new federal leadership moves swiftly to change direction and put the U.S. health system on the path to high performance."</p>