US healthcare reform may founder over proposal for federal insurance programme

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 25 March 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1194
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

    One major controversy over Barack Obama’s plans to reform the US healthcare system is likely to concern his proposal to create a federal government “public option” health insurance programme, a key Republican leader said last week. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa was speaking at a breakfast meeting with reporters on 19 March.

    Senator Grassley is the senior Republican on the finance committee, which along with the health committee has primary responsibility on the matter.

    He admitted that healthcare reform had to happen but saw the extension of a federal health insurance programme beyond the existing Medicare scheme for senior …

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