Women's Health Base

A look at women, the world and the web

It’s the health care stupid!

Posted by hannahflynn on January 20, 2009

“We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.”  (From The Telegraph).

Phew, its all done. Few were expecting such a quite frankly socialist approach to science. Yes, the man paved the way to the White House after his election with the appointment of actual scientists as his advisers, but he never said much during his campaign about lowering the cost of health care! I thought that was Clinton’s beef…

Anyway as I have previously posted, Obama is oposed the ‘conscience rule’ that has plagued health legislation in the US over the past month.

This month, he also appointed  his health secretary Tom Daschle, who is also leading the Obama administration’s newly created White House Office of Health Reform.

Tom Daschel has a solid grasp of health policy, having outlined his vision for reform in the 2008 book Critical: What We Can Do About The Health-Care Crisis according to the Washington Post.

At the time the creation of a White House Office of Health Reform signified health care was to be at the forefront of policy, even during an economic crisis. Obama said, “If we want to overcome our economic challenges, we must also finally address our health care challenge. I can think of no one better suited to lead this effort.”

Jeanne Lambrew is to serve as his deputy in that office, a woman who’s research interests include the  uninsured, Medicaid and Medicare, health care funding for people on low incomes.

The implications for women’s health care are vast. Pregnant women’s access to free or subsidised health care in the United States has long been considered an embarrassment. 63 percent of women who receive Medicaid or Medicare are of childbearing age (between 19 and 44).

And it’s not just women wishing to be able to give birth in a hospital who may benefit from Jeanne Lambrew’s appointment. Remember it was only in 2000 their funding was extended to women with either breast or cervical cancer – except if they had already been diagnosed. They had to pay.  

Obama also wishes to create a computerised version of all medical records in the country. Not put off by the vastness of the task the NHS started attempting 5 years ago or the $100 billion price tag. He claims digitalising the records of the whole country will slow the rises in health care costs for low income families, many of whom are headed by single women.

Its good news, Forbes reported 9 percent of Americans rated health care their number one concern, that’s the same amount of people who rated terrorism as their chief concern.

Still, it’s risky business making health care reform so prominent at a time when the economy is shot to bits: lets not forget Bill Cinton tried and failed to improve health policy during an economic boom. But maybe this time, the desperation that got him elected will be ‘the change we need’!

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One Response to “It’s the health care stupid!”

  1. […] January –  In his inauguration speech Obama highlights the issues facing US health policy and promises to tackle them with science, […]

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