Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Top Picks in 2010 Health Care Reform: Bill Passed!

I can't believe we've passed national, comprehensive health care reform! A first for public health. With all that I learned from the esteemed Bob Blendon in Political Strategies, I knew it would be a long shot. Presidential diplomacy likely played a strong hand in back deal negotiations, as well as the organizing and activity of pro-reform groups in putting pressure on key (read: moderate) legislators!

Here's what pumps me up about national health care reform:
  1. Millions of uninsured (an estimated 32 million, to be exact) will now be covered! This means greater continuity of care and hopefully less late, untreatable conditions get prevented and treated early!
  2. National menu labeling for chain restaurants! Calorie counts will be visible at point-of-purchase for most chain restaurant menu items across the United States (and the National Restaurant Association sings its praises in the Wall Street Journal blog...miracles do happen!).
There are tons of hurdles yet to be overcome when it comes to implementation and the elephant in the room is cost controls on skyrocketing premiums. I've heard it said that legislators want to "Tackle coverage first, then deal with cost." Whether that approach helps or hurts the health of Americans will be closely monitored, I'm certain!

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