Advocacy Groups Push Obama To Tackle Health Care Early On
Four advocacy groups on Tuesday launched a $1 million advertising campaign that will ask President-elect Barack Obama to make health care reform a priority during his first 100 days in office, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In a letter to Obama, the Business Roundtable, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, AARP and the Service Employees International Union link health care reform with the current economic downturn.
They wrote, "Addressing skyrocketing health care costs is a critical component of stabilizing household, national and global economies," adding, "Inaction undermines the economic security of our families; limits the productivity of our work force; stagnates job creation and wage growth; and threatens to crowd out investments in energy, education and infrastructure."
According to the Times, although "Obama made health care reform a central plank of his presidential campaign ... since his victory, he has not indicated how he plans to proceed with an overhaul that could cost hundreds of billions of dollars and spark an intense political battle."
Business Roundtable President John Castellani said, "What we are doing is reminding not just the president but the Congress as well that ... this remains one of the most important issues facing the country."
Castellani said that he hopes a comprehensive health care reform bill will reach the floors of the House and Senate in the first 100 days after Obama takes office.
AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said, "We can't allow campaign promises of bipartisanship and action to fall apart simply because the election is over," adding, "Millions of Americans are still struggling to find affordable health care."
Dennis Rivera -- chair of SEIU Healthcare, which has begun a national campaign that will ask lawmakers to address health care reform -- said, "We are going to run this like it is a presidential campaign, but our candidate will be health care reform," adding, "It will be very disheartening if there is no action" (Levey, Los Angeles Times, 11/11).
NPR's "All Things Considered" on Monday examined the health care issues Obama will face as president, such as entitlement program reform, the uninsured, health care information technology and health care costs (Rovner, "All Things Considered," NPR, 11/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.