Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Live Blog: Moving Forward On Health Care Reform

Bookmark and Share

2:25 p.m. "Moving Forward On Health Care Reform" is the final panel at the Humphrey Institute's four-day series of forums entitled, America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention. The discussion is moderated by Lawrence Jacobs (Director, Center for the Study of Poltiics and Governance, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota). The panelists are:

* U.S. Senator Bob Bennett (R-UT)
* U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN)
* Jeff Korsmo (Executive Director, Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center)
* Steve Mahle (Executive Vice President of Healthcare Policy, Medtronic)
* Grace-Marie Turner (President of the Galen Institute)

2:29 p.m. Senator Klobuchar says Congress needs to address the geographic financial differences in the cost of health care as well as rural health care issues. Klobuchar believes health care will be the number one domestic issue in the next session of Congress.

2:31 p.m. Senator Bennett says that although almost everyone agrees that the health care system is broken, but that it never gets fixed. And, after attempts to fix it, there is usually 'blood on the floor' from the political battle. However, enough time has passed since the Clinton effort that now is the right time to try to get things done, and it is especially pressing because things have "only gotten worse" since then.

2:41 p.m. Senators Bennett and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have written a bill (The Healthy Americans Act), the premise of which is to put control of the services into the hands of the employees and out of the hands of employers to put market forces in play. He adds that Republicans have always - and correctly - opposed universal coverage. He says we have a defacto universal coverage system now and "it's called the emergency room."

2:47 p.m. However, Bennett says we do need to cover everybody - just not in the 'frivilous' and 'expensive' way we do it now through the emergency room system, and that Republicans must realize this. He says this is the "Noah's Ark" bill, as they only accept co-sponsors in pairs: a Democrat and a Republican. The bill now has 16 co-sponsors on the bill, which Bennett believes will demonstrate to the next President that there is a bi-partisan approach to health care that is viable.

2:54 p.m. Bennett believes they have discovered the primary source of cost control in health care: quality. He adds that if every American got their health care in one of the top 3 regions for quality in the country (Salt Lake City, Rochester, MN, and Washington), the cost of health care would be one-third what it is today.

3:06 p.m. Turner says the issue of affordability is a given to any health plan, and the reason we don't have affordable health care is that it is tied to the employer-based system. This linkable must be 'unlocked.' Turner is worried about having an individual mandate for coverage as part of the bill (problems being a shortage in the workforce as well as defining what is a minimum level of coverage and how that level might be too expensive for some people).

3:15 p.m. Korsmo says the jury is still out as to whether the health care work force could absorb the introduction into the health care system of millions of more insured patients, however that a more efficient system could probably handle this increase.

3:25 p.m. Mahle says there are perverse consequences with the current system, whereby there is little incentive, for example, for medical device manufacturers to make products that last longer.

3:26 p.m. Minnesota's Republican Senator Norm Coleman is one of the co-sponsors of the Bennett-Wyden bill.

Previous post: Live Blog: Tax Policy at a Crossroads
Next post: Eight Debate Questions Sarah Palin Does Not Want Asked of Her

3 Comments


  • very nice article

  • Good discussion

  • From a health standpoint, it is critically important for people and their overall health to engage in prevention. The healthcare system is set up to be reactive in nature, and not preventative. Using a good overall health supplement, especially a natural or organic liquid vitamins supplement can go a long way in preserving your health.

    An important health factor to watch is your overall weight, and to make sure it is at a healthy level. Using natural weight loss pills and other weight loss diet products may help in conjunction with an overall healthy diet and exercise program. The natural cactus hoodia gordonii is one such diet supplement that has shown promise in helping people to mitigate their appetites. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent heart disease and a host of other related ailments.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

    Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

    Political Crumbs

    No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

    Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


    The Second Time Around

    Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting