Groups Need Specific Health Reform Plans To Advance Debate
"Health care experts are reluctant to dismiss" a health care reform effort led by Wal-Mart and the Service Employees International Union as a publicity grab, operating under the assumption that any attention drawn to health care reform "is better than none," columnist David Lazarus writes in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Health care experts say that "everyone knows the health care system is broken," but Lazarus writes that "a serious plan to fix things" is what needs to be offered.
Steffie Woolhandler, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, said that members of the coalition headed by Wal-Mart/SEIU are "being dishonest" about their commitment to overhauling the health care system if they do not adopt a specific reform proposal. Woolhandler said, "They're saying that they want to give us an omelet but they don't want to break any eggs."
According to Lazarus, the coalition is not "advocating anything specific -- just change."
"The problem isn't a shortage of ideas," Lazarus writes, but rather "finding the political will to make changes that would reinvent how medical coverage is delivered in this country" (Lazarus, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/9).
PBS' "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" on Thursday reported on various health care reform proposals, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) plan. The segment includes comments from Schwarzenegger and Ron Pollack, CEO of Families USA (Holman, "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," PBS, 2/8).
The broadcast also included a discussion on health care reform with Jeanne Lambrew, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and John Castellani, president of the Business Roundtable (Lehrer, " NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," PBS, 2/8).
Audio, video and a transcript of both segments are available online.