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March 6th, 2009
07:35 PM ET

On the Radar: Healing Health Care

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

President Obama sent a strong message this week at his White House health care summit, saying his goal is to enact comprehensive health care reform by the end of this year. He said every option should be on the table, except for the status quo, and vowed that “those who seek to block any reform at all, any reform at any costs, will not prevail this time around.”

Strong words in the face of a fierce battle that lies ahead.

More than 100 people were invited to the summit, including some industry lobbyists who have killed previous reform efforts. Mister Obama welcomed them but also sent a warning signal to everyone in the room, saying: “I want to be very clear, at the outset, that while everybody has a right to take part in this discussion, nobody has the right to take it over and dominate.

Until he took his name out of the running for Surgeon General, Dr. Sanjay Gupta could have been part of the White House reform effort.

Here at 360, we’re of course thrilled that Sanjay has decided to remain part of the CNN family – and we’re putting him right to work.

Starting on Monday, Sanjay will begin five days of health care reports for us. He’s spent the last three months focusing on the ideas in play in the Obama administration. He’s talked with President Obama at length about the issues – and will bring this insight to our health care series.

His first report on Monday will focus on the major reform that’s already happened in Massachusetts, which implemented universal health care in 2006. Employers are required to provide coverage; uninsured individuals are required to buy it and the government provides the necessary subsidies (and expands Medicare for the poor). So how is it working?

Sanjay will take us inside the bold experiment in Massachusetts for a progress report.

See you Monday at 10 p.m. eastern!

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. lisa oberbruner

    Why do we even hire doctors any more the insurance companies tell what you and your doctors what you can and can not have done. Insurance companies need regulation they are out of controll. Come on we are talking about life or death and if that isn't important to people then I don't know what to say.

    March 6, 2009 at 8:17 pm |
  2. Michael C. Mchugh

    I think everyone should be offered Medicare, which can be subsidized by the Federal Reserve. I will keep making the point that if the Federal Reserve can subsidize big banks and corporations with trillions of dollars, then it can certainly help us out with financing these entitlement programs.

    Now, theb fact is that teh Republicans do not want the common people to have Medicare, or any kind of health insurance at all. They may not say this openly right now, but they'll get around to saying it soon enough.

    Their main interest will not be the common people, but providing subsidies to the big insurance companies–by forcing people to buy private insurance at inflated prices. Look at what happens when everyone is required to buy auto insurance from private companies. They just milk the system and charge whatever they can get away with.

    America being what it is, however, I have no doubt that these powerful big business interests are going to be well taken care of if health care "reform" is finally passed. If the Republicans cannot block all change completely, they will at least make sure that private insurance companies get the greatest benefit from it. My guess is that they'll be pretty successful in blocking all major change, however.

    March 6, 2009 at 7:56 pm |