Ceci Connolly

Ceci Connolly

Ceci Connolly covers national health policy for the Washington Post.

About Health Care Rx

Health-care reform is moving front and center on Capitol Hill this season. Brace yourself for a mind-numbing blitkrieg of statistics that don't always add up, rhetoric that would frighten even the hardiest of souls and more than one head fake from the politicians. Americans spend $2.4 trillion on medical care today, more per capita than any other industrialized nation. At the same time, about 46 million people have no insurance, while perhaps another 40 million have barebones coverage that often doesn't cover the care people need.

The majority of people in the United States get health insurance through the workplace. About half of all health coverage in this country is provided by the government--through the military, a federal or state agency or through programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Few aspects of American life touch people more directly than health care. Hospitals are major employers in local communities, virtually everyone is a patient at some point in their lives and the health sector represents one-fifth of the U.S. economy.

We at the Washington Post have created Health Care Rx as an ongoing, online dialogue about the present health system and ideas for fixing it. We've assembled a distinguished panel of experts to keep the conversation going. In this space, you'll be able to read the wisdom of CEOs, academics, practicing physicians, former policymakers and patients. They'll spare you the predictable soundbites and instead offer real-world insights into how to improve health care.

Each week, I will pose a question to get the conversation started. We'll post the panelists' answers as they come in and perhaps even spark some lively back-and-forth. We hope readers will join in with their own observations and suggestions. Readers and panelists are also invited to email topics to health@washpost.com for future discussion.

Ceci Connolly

By Ceci Connolly  |  June 4, 2009; 2:22 PM ET  | Category:  Health Care Reform Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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So why is there no clear single payer advocate like Olver Fein, Marcia Angell, Steffi Wollhandler, or David Himmelstein on your panel?

Posted by: lensch | June 23, 2009 3:19 PM
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Unfortunately very few people discuss some of the very difficult discussions on how we spend our healthcare dollars in the US.
It may sould cold but some reality has to put into the system that money is not endless in areas of end of life, terminal illness and the soaring costs of premature multi-birth babies. I am not looking for quick answers only rational discussion of all the issues.
I think Obama is testing the waters to see what backlash will occur with his suggestion of cutting Medicaid and Medicare benefits.

Posted by: davidfrenkel1 | June 15, 2009 9:16 AM
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from listening to you, I can tell you are for big business and the insurance companies. They are the main reason OBAMA was sent to Washington. He was sent to represent the average American and the poor Americans in our country. I am fully confident that HE WILL chose the right plan for our country and that he will consider what insurance co, doctors, and big business will suggest, but the ALTOMATE decision will be WHAT IS GOOD FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE....you side on the Republican side...the AMERICAN people do not want that...if they did they would have voted Republican...they did not because they want CHANGE....

Posted by: STANTONCAROL | June 14, 2009 8:23 AM
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