HEALTH REFORM: In the Beginning...
Yes we noticed that President Barack Obama mentioned health care in his inaugural address. We were pleased, but not surprised. He's made clear that health reform is a priority.
We see there's a new look at www.Whitehouse.gov. We didn't see much new on the health care agenda portion of the site—looks like it's what we heard during the campaign and transition. But it's nice that it has found a new home.
In the near term, the SCHIP and economic stimulus bills should help low-income individuals and the newly uninsured. Amy Goldstein at the Washington Post summed that up nicely over the weekend, including some insights into how this could alter government role in health care. We're hearing that the big push on comprehensive health reform won't come until March, but that's still early enough to enjoy momentum from the new presidency. And momentum is important with an initiative this large and complex. The Wall Street Journal says to expect a White House event involving the administration, members of Congress and interest groups in a "working session of sorts" to launch the effort.