alth reform measures Obama has proposed are aimed at reducing wasteful spending and improving health-care quality. Some of these are tucked into the $825 billion economy stimulus package unveiled by House Democrats earlier this month. The measure sets aside $20 billion to help the nation's doctors and hospitals computerize patient medical records, for example, and $3 billion for preventive care.
Another $87 billion would go to shore up state Medicaid programs that are reeling amid heightened demand for services.
"I think that is a hugely positive acknowledgement of reality, and it's a big enough number of dollars that it should ultimately help states and their Medicaid enrollees," Duncan said.
Obama's resolve, along with bipartisan leadership on health reform among key Congressional committees, has fueled hope that the new administration might make headway where previous administrations have failed.
"We are at the early rah-rah stage of health reform, and this could change still, but it has certainly added momentum to the effort so far," Altman said.
For differing views on the Obama Administration's health care proposals, visit the Heritage Foundation and the Urban Institute.
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SOURCES: R. Paul Duncan, Ph.D., professor and chairman, Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville; Jan. 15, 2009, media briefing with Drew Altman, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Washington, D.C.; Jan 15, 2009, news release and survey charts, Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health; The Office of the President-Elect (change.gov); Jan. 19, 2009, Commonwealth Fund/Modern Health
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