Start low, go slow
That’s the advice the Mercury News has for President-elect Obama:
In Friday’s news conference, he implied he still hoped to tackle everything he’d promised. Bill and Hillary Clinton can tell him a thing or two about that. Their early, botched attempt to pass comprehensive health care reform buried the cause for 16 years. While Obama feels pressured to move quickly, rushing into this one could again set reform back.
The editorial advises Mr. Obama to expand State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), authorize the federal government to negotiate bulk purchases of Medicare prescription drugs, and push for electronic medical records (EMRs).
Greatly expand primary care by increasing reimbursement
Try to introduce more market mechanisms into health care financing
Implement a “loser pays” provision for lawsuits against health care providers
Allow the market to decide the pace at which health information technology should be adopted by health care providers and institutions
Veto any legislation that will add red tape to health care (e.g. HIPAA, FMLA)